Mount Koya (Koya-san)

Sacred Mount Koya, or Koya-san, is an elevated area of hills with a collection of over 100 temples and lodges, surrounded by delicately scented cedar trees and misty peaks. Koya-san is one of the most important spiritual centres in Japan and the home of Shingon school of Esoteric Buddhism. Accommodation at Koya-san is in Shukubo, or temple lodges, which offer simple rooms and vegetarian meals prepared by monks. Guests are encouraged to embrace the spirituality of Koya-san by rising early and joining monks for early morning meditation. An interesting sight not to be missed is the Okunoin Cemetery, situated in the middle of a forest of cedar trees, and the resting place for many of Japan’s most famous figures in history. After dark the mile long path leading through the cemetery is lit by lights and stone lanterns, which makes for a wonderfully atmospheric evening stroll.

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