Mount Koya, the sacred birthplace of Shingon Buddhism, is a UNESCO-designated mountain range that numerous temples call home. Situated in Wakayama Prefecture, to the south of Osaka, many come to Koyasan to experience life as a monk. From morning prayers to meditation sessions to vegetarian cuisine, visitors looking for an authentic spiritual experience can easily do so at the fifty or so temples in Kyosan that offer overnight lodging. The duration of stay is up to personal preference. Unfortunately for me, I only had a day to spare at Mount Koya, so I had to give the monastic life a miss.
Aside from its extensive complex of temples, Mount Koya is also famed for its brilliant autumn foliage, which many regard as one of the best the world over. Indeed, when autumn descends around mid October to mid November, Mount Koya transforms into an enchanting sea of amber and gold that leaves countless visitors mesmerized. This stunning work of Nature is definitely worth the 2.5-hour journey from Osaka.
How to go:
- Nankai Koya Line from Namba station to the Gokurakubashi terminal station .
– Cable car from Gokurakubashi terminal station travels up to Mount Koya.
– At the top of the mountain, there are 3 bus lines to go to the city.