Mount Koya

Koya-san - an enclave of Buddhist temples nestled between the eight forested peaks of Mount Koya itself - seems a world away from the nearby hustle and bustle of Japan's third largest city, Osaka. Mount Koya lies at a crossroads in old pilgrimage routes, and is still one of Japan's most important spiritual centres, the heart of Shingon Buddhism, and the resting place of the sect's founder, Kobo Daishi, or Kukai.

Boasting over one hundred separate temple complexes, Mount Koya remains a peaceful retreat, and is one of the best places in Japan to try shukubo - an overnight stay at a Buddhist temple. Staying at a temple on Mount Koya allows the traveller to sample the pilgrim's lifestyle - bathing before a dinner of traditional shojin-ryori, the simple yet delicious Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, and rising with the birds for the morning prayers with the monks. Both Buddhist visitors and the simply curious are welcome on Mount Koya, and Into Japan Specialist Tours would be delighted to include a night or two in a Buddhist temple as part of your tailor made tour to Japan.