Kii Peninsula

This is the final bridge inside Oku-no-in before Kōbō Daishi's mausoleum. It crosses the Tama-gawa, which runs down from Yōryū-san, the mountain behind the Gobyō. It's customary to bow here, and from here on photographs are prohibited. To the right are the Mizumuke Jizō, bronze effigies that visitors ladle water over as a way of praying for the souls of the departed.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kii Peninsula attractions

1. Miroku-ishi

0.05 MILES

Inside Oku-no-in and just past Gobyō-bashi is a wooden building the size of a large phone booth, which contains the Miroku-ishi – a stone said to weigh as…

2. Tōrō-dō

0.06 MILES

This large hall at the northern end of Oku-no-in is full of lanterns, which cover the walls and ceiling. Two of the large ones, at the back of the hall,…

3. Oku-no-in

0.07 MILES

Oku-no-in, whose name means 'inner sanctuary', is perhaps the most intensely spiritual place in Japan. At its farthest reaches is the Gobyō, the crypt…

4. Gobyō

0.09 MILES

The wooden, thatched roof gate here is as far as you can go in Oku-no-in. Beyond it lies the crypt Kōbō Daishi entered in 835, never to leave. Pilgrims in…

5. Naka-no-hashi

0.35 MILES

This bridge marks the halfway point between Ichi-no-hashi and the inner sanctum of Oku-no-in.

6. Ichi-no-hashi

0.83 MILES

This simple stone bridge marks the entrance to the sacred Oku-no-in complex.

7. Kongōbu-ji

1.36 MILES

This is the headquarters of the Shingon sect and the residence of Kōya-san's abbot. The main gate is the temple's oldest structure (1593); the present…

8. Tokugawa Mausoleum

1.37 MILES

These adjacent mausoleums were completed in 1643 at the behest of the third Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, for his grandfather, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and…