Eko In Koyasan: An Unforgettable Temple Stay in Koyasan in Winter
Getting from Osaka to Koyasan
Monks walking to Torodo Hall, Okunoin Cemetery. You can't take pictures past this point
Okunoin Cemetery: largest in Japan, and the main attraction at Koyasan
Shojoshin-in, one of the 50+ temples in Koyasan where visitors can stay
Visiting Koyasan in Winter
Heavy snowfall at Daimon, the huge gate at the western edge of town
hot tea, warm yukata (traditional robe) and kotatsu (heated table futon) at Hoon-in, where I spent my second night
a scalding hot onsen bath is the best remedy for the cold at Koyasan in winter
Doing a Temple Stay in Koyasan
Okunoin Cemetery in winter is truly magical
the guestrooms at Eko-in Koyasan overlook a gorgeous couryard
morning prayers and Homa fire ceremony at 7 am before breakfast is served in your room
things you do when staying alone in a temple: taking pictures of myself having tea in my room. taken at Eko-in with tripod and flash
Eating in Koyasan: The Shojin Ryori (Buddhist Vegetarian Meal)
shojin ryori (buddhist vegetarian) dinner at Eko-in
goma dofu: the world's best tofu (according to me)
shojin ryori (buddhist vegetarian) dinner on my second night, at Hoon-in
beer and sake while staying in a temple is my version of heaven
Okunoin Cemetery in Winter
Other Things to Do in Koyasan
Garan (the sacred precinct) is a large park that features several temples and is definitely worth a stroll, though I personally didn't find it necessary to pay and go inside each of them (200 yen each). The park was actually larger than I had imagined from looking at maps before I arrived, and when I visited, snow was falling pretty hard, so I didn't linger or get many photos. The town's only Family Mart is near the park's southern entrance, which makes a good warm escape if you need it.
this shows just how fast the weather can change at Koyasan. I took the second photo of Konpon Daito (the orange temple) in Garan an hour after the first. I had decided to wait out the heavy snow at Family Mart and it soon improved!
this is the classic shot of Japan's largest rock garden at Kongobuji, except covered in snow
Sainan-in, a temple at the far western end of town just before Daimon Gate
Benten-Mae, a little shrine on a hill across facing Sainan-in (pictured above)
Final Thoughts about Doing a Koyasan Temple Stay in Winter
Hey, I'm Nick!
I first left home with a backpack in 2001, and I've been living in Taiwan for the last 10 years. I am especially drawn to religious centers, spiritual sights, and natural attractions.
I started this website to share the things I learn on the road and to inspire YOU to travel MORE!
Eko In: The Best Temple to Stay in Koyasan?
Hoon In: A Good Alternative Temple to Stay in Koyasan
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