Japan’s centre of Shingdon Buddhism, a visit to Mount Koya offers the chance to stay overnight in a shukubu, an ancient Buddhist temple where the monks still live and pray. Other attractions include the main Shingdon monastery, Kongobuji Temple, a walk through the misty atmospheric cemetery of Okunoin and a chance to explore the excellent network of hiking trails across the mountain.
Okunion Cemetery is home to the sacred tomb of Kukai, who introduced Shingdon Buddhism to Japan in 805. Japan’s largest cemetery, it includes the Torodo Hall of Lamps where over 10,000 lanterns are kept permanently lit. The main town Koyasan has many temples to explore and the network of trails across Mount Koya offers extensive opportunities for hiking.