Osaka Side Trip to Mt. Koya |

One of the most sacred places in all of Japan,
Mount Koya is the center of the important Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and stands
stoically on the Kii Peninsula to the south of Osaka. Not only does this mountain boast an abundance
of natural beauty, but the secluded hilltop temple town is a charming escape from the
busy city, and also a great place to experience an overnight temple stay. And on this trip, that’s exactly what we’ll
be doing. I’m Sam Evans staff writer for,
and over the next two days I’m on assignment on Mount Koya. Here’s the plan:
Starting in Osaka, we’ll ride on Nankai railways all the way from Namba Station in
central Osaka to the Koyasan Cablecar with one transfer along the way. After riding the Koysan Cablecar up the mountain,
we’ll take a bus to the center of town and walk through Japan’s largest cemetery to
the famous Okunoin Temple. To end the first day we’ll get a taste of
the monastic life by staying overnight at Ekoin Temple. On Day 2, after experiencing some morning
temple rituals including a fire ceremony, we’ll walk to Kongobuji and Garan, two historic
and important Shingon temple complexes. Finally we’ll take a brief hike from Daimon
Gate along one of the area’s many pilgrimage trails, before taking a bus back to the cablecar
and returning to Osaka. So follow along as we go on a short side-trip
from Osaka to Mount Koya Day 1 So we’ve just arrived on Mt. Koya and the
first spot that we’re going to visit today is Okunoin which contains the largest cemetery
in all of Japan. Now, the reason that so many of the deceased
are represented in here is because everyone wants to be close to Kobo Daishi, the founder
of Shingon Buddhism. And it is said that he is resting in eternal
meditation in the mausoleum in the rear of this complex. So let’s go and check it out. We’ve just arrived at Gobyobashi Bridge
that leads to the sacred precincts of KoboDaishi’s mausoleum. It’s customary to bow before crossing the
bridge. Also, beyond the bridge is held as so sacred
that we can no longer film. Our next stop is at Ekoin Temple where we’ll
be staying the night. Before dinner we’ll participate in two traditional
temple activities, namely sutra copying and mediation. So, I’ve just got to the room and I’m
going to enjoy a temple dinner. Now, temple stays are typically simple, but
as you can see the accommodations are very nice as well. Visitors can expect to get their own room
but will likely have to share other amenities like toilets and baths. So we’ve got some tempura, some nabe which
is Japanese hot pot, some gomadofu and some fruit which is all vegetarian and it looks
delicious. Day 2 As part of the temple stay experience, before
breakfast we’ll observe a morning prayer service followed by a traditional fire ritual. We’ve arrived this morning at Kongobuji,
the head temple of Shingon Buddhism. And it’s home to an array of beautiful features
including Banryutei, which is the largest rock garden in all of Japan. So the garden’s rock formations are meant
to represent two guardian dragons that are emerging from a sea of clouds. So we’ve just arrived at Garan, another
of Koyasan’s most prominent religious sites. And the temple’s most impressive features
are the Kondo Hall and Konpon Daito Pagoda. Daimon Gate behind me is the traditional entrance
to Koyasan, and around Mount Koya there is a substantial network of trails. Today we’re going to start here, and we’re
going to walk over to Nyonindo along a portion of the Women Pilgrims route and this part
of the trail network is great for people like us who don’t have a lot of time. So let’s get on with it. Finishing the short pilgrimage trail, we’ll
take the bus back to Koyasan station, from where it’s a short cable car ride to the Nankai
train lines which will take us back to Osaka where our trip will come to an end. Thanks for joining me. I hope this video has been enjoyable and perhaps
even inspires some ideas, should you be planning a trip in the Kansai region. For more information or to watch another video,
click the links on the screen now, or head over to, your comprehensive,
up-to-date travel guide, first-hand from Japan. Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe
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44 thoughts on “Osaka Side Trip to Mt. Koya |

  1. Went to koyasan twice. I visited around a dozen temples & shrines in kyoto, including kurama & kibune. And I can say koyasan okunoin is easily the most magnificent site compare to the others. No other temple could match okunoin beauty, and serenity. Also, a night stay at the temple lodging is highly reccommended.

  2. I went there last month during winter for a day trip and it's breathtaking. The white powdery snow blanketed the pathway and the cemetery, the tall towering cedar trees (if I'm not mistaken it's cedar) and the soft howling of the wind on the background – its just beautiful.

  3. Visited Koya-san early last year (2018) and I must say it was refreshing and the calmness if the place just exudes a certain peaceful aura. Definitely stay a bit at Kobo Daishi's mausoleum and feel the very relaxing aura of the monks chanting inside.

  4. Top notch as always. Concise and informative. Textual bubbles might stay on the screen at least twice as much time as they are now.

  5. I recommend visiting Koyasan not as a day trip but at least an overnight- you really get the full Koyasan experience when you stay in a thousand year old temple, eat shojin ryori monk food, and wake up early the next day to view the morning chanting and fire ceremonies.

  6. Very nice video, this time I can appreciate it to the fullest because I've been to Mount Koya before and your video guide is spot on! Well done.

  7. Are there any locker services in Osaka where I can place my main luggage while i travel to Mt. Koya for an overnight stay? Thanks!

  8. description says that one should bow before crossing both bridges.
    what would happen if you don't bow before crossing either of the bridges?

  9. I want to visit Koyasan from Osaka and stay the night in november, then head to Kyoto . Is it hard to travel with a large lugguage bag on wheels ? . Thanks

  10. The Kumano Kodo and Koyasan is on the bucket list. Planning to do that as a coming of age trip with my boys. So beautiful. Great video.

  11. always wanted to visit this place…should had done so on my last trip..too bad i went to Mt Hiei instead of this place..

  12. I just watched your Toyama vlog and was really disappointed and this vlog was no different! The video footage was great but have you never heard of interviewing a temple monk or a waitress and hear the firsthand account of these incredible places? You should stick to metropolitan transportation vlogs or something similar! You really missed the point!

  13. 高野龍神スカイラインをドライブするのも気持ちいいぞー(^^)

  14. 高野山は3回程行ったけど

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