Koyasan worth it?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Feb 5, 2013 2:54 AM Last Post By: bamse
Jan 25, 2013 12:58 AM
Koyasan worth it?My wife & I and a couple friends are spending 3 weeks in Japan travelling from Tokyo>Kyoto>Nara>Osaka>Hiroshima. We had a trip planned previously that included staying a couple nights at a Buddhist temple in Koyasan & just see the sights and hit up an onsen or two.
Just wondering what people's thoughts are if it's worth making the trek from Osaka to Mt. Koya for only 2 nights?
Any other suggestions are welcome.
Jan 25, 2013 1:37 AM
1Most people go to Koyasan for one night only, so if you prefer a slower pace then two nights would be fine.
Depending on your exact dates and whether you planned to stay in Nara overnight or just daytrip there you may wish to put Koyasan between Kyoto and Osaka to break up the travel a little.
Something like Tokyo - Kyoto - Nara - Koyasan - Osaka - Hiroshima - Tokyo
Or Tokyo - Kyoto - Koyasan - Nara - Hiroshima - Osaka - Tokyo
Jan 25, 2013 2:54 AM
2We stayed two nights (in two different temples), arriving afternoonish (4pm?) on the first day and leaving in the morning (10am?) of the third day. During this time we saw basically everything there is to see in Koyasan, but did not do any hikes. So I'd say 2 nights for Koyasan should be perfectly fine unless you have a particular interest in something and if you get there earlier (leave later) than we did, one night should work as well.
Not sure about onsen in or near Koyasan. Did you have a particular one in mind?
Jan 25, 2013 5:05 AM
3I stayed one night at Koyasan, and found that to be plenty of time to see the major sights. Depending on where you would be coming from in Osaka, you're looking at a two-hour train ride to Gokurakubashi at most, which is hardly a "trek". The decision whether or not to visit comes down to how interested you are in spending the night (or two) at a Buddhist temple.
Jan 25, 2013 6:47 AM
4I stayed one night in Koya San and thought the temple stay was well worth the time and effort to get there. If you arrive mid morning on the first day and don't leave until mid afternoon on the second day you will be able to see just about everything that the town has to offer. You don't need two nights unless you arrive late the first day and depart early the third day.
Jan 26, 2013 7:16 AM
Jan 31, 2013 7:01 AM
6In my opinion, the trip to Koya-san will be well worth it. The overnight stay at a temple is a great cultural experience, particularly if you take the opportunity to attend prayer services in the morning. The Okunoin Temple and Cemetery may be the most interesting site I have visited in Japan. Kobo Dashi--the man who founded Koya-san and who is credited with bringing Buddhism to Japan from China is buried here and, as a witness to his place in Japanese religious history, many of the most famous Japanese historical figures chose to have their graves here so that they could be near him. If you are interested in Japanese history, I suggest getting a knowledgeable guide and spending some time visiting some of the grave sites (the site markers are in Japanese and rather difficult to find). Japan guide has a good intro to Okunoin http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4901.html. My family stayed at the Shojoshin-in, which is located next to the entrance to Okunoin, making it easier to take an early morning or late evening walk through the cemetary--an enchanting experience.
Feb 4, 2013 5:26 PM
Feb 4, 2013 8:21 PM
8With an early start, you could do Koyasan as a day trip from Osaka, but not only would you be rushing around the main sights, staying overnight in one of the temples is one of the main reasons for making the trip in the first place. I stayed at Haryo-in, probably the cheapest of the temple options. The rooms were small, and housed in a dormitory-style annex, but guests could still enjoy the shojin-ryori Buddhist vegetarian meals (delicious) and observe an early morning prayer session.
There is also a youth hostel in Koyasan. My advice would be, if you're unwilling to spend the money on accommodation there, it's probably not worth visiting.
Feb 4, 2013 11:11 PM
Feb 5, 2013 2:54 AM
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