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Introducing Mt. Koya

This video, titled "The Holy Land in the Sky – Mt. Koya (生きている天空の聖地 高野山) was created by "greentvjapan." It's an introductory video of the beautiful and mysterious Mt. Koya; one of the top holy cities in Japan.

Mt. Koya is known as a holy place by those who follow Buddhism, folk religion, and mountain worship.

The History of Mt. Koya

Image of Koyasan Daimon, Wakayama Prefecture
Photo:Koyasan Daimon, Wakayama Prefecture

Mt. Koya, a sacred mountain located in Koya, Ito district (伊都郡高野町) in Wakayama prefecture, is a holy land for Buddhism, starting with Shuzenji Temple given to Kukai (also known as Kobo Daishi (弘法大師)) by Emperor Saga (嵯峨天皇) in the Heian Period (794 AD - 1185 AD).

Mt. Koya, which is the site of the head temple for Shingon Buddhism (真言宗, shingonshuu), is designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site under "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range."
The beautiful temples on Mt. Koya, created by talented carpenters and cypress bark roof craftsmen, are a must see for any tourist visiting the area!

The Highlights of Mt. Koya

Image of Danjo Garan in Koya-san, Wakayama Prefecture
Photo:Danjo Garan in Koya-san, Wakayama Prefecture

Mt. Koya's "Danjo-garan" (壇上伽藍) features many temples and shrines including Konpon Daito (根本大塔), Sanno-in (山王院), Kondo (金堂) and "Oku-no-In" (奥之院) of Kongobuji (金剛峯寺).
There are many Jizo statues at Oku-no-in.
You can take a look at these in the video from 4:14.

If you are visiting Mt. Koya on foot, why not trek along some of the famous pilgrimage routes, such as Kurokomichi (黒子道), Nyoninmichi (女人道), Kyoosaka-michi Fudozaka (京大坂道不動坂), Mitanizaka (三谷坂) including Nyusakadonojinja (丹生酒殿神社).
You can also receive a special seal stamp called a "Go-shuin" at Mt. Koya for good luck!

Other items you can purchase at Mt. Koya include good luck fortunes known as "O-mamori," "zukou" (a powder-type incense/perfume), and good related to Mt. Koya's character, "Koya-kun" (こうやくん).
You can also take part in meditation practice, sutra-copying and flower-arrangement experiences.

The Temple Lodgings at Mt. Koya

Image of Koya in Wakayama Prefecture
Photo:Koya in Wakayama Prefecture

Every morning at 6 am when the temple bell rings, the monks begin their ascetic practices.

Every morning, the monks take breakfast to Kukai in a ceremony called "Shojingu" (生身供).
If you decide to stay the night in one of the Buddhist temples on Mt. Koya you can enjoy vegetarian Buddhist cuisine called "Shojinryori" (精進料理), which includes food, such as sesame tofu and traditional Japanese sweets, with the monks as well as take part in Buddhist prayers.

Events on Mt. Koya

Many events take place on Mt. Koya throughout the year, such as the Aoba Festival (青葉祭り), Koya Fire Festival (高野の火祭り), Obon Lantern Festival and Candle Festival, and man other events that celebrate the changing of the seasons.

During fall, there is a special Buddhist service known as "Kinshu Daigaran Oneri Ho'e" (錦秋大伽藍お練り法会) and in winter there is "Gohei Osame" (御幣納め), "Shushoe" (修正会) and "Joyanokane" (除夜の鐘, the ringing of the New Year's bells).
Many tourists visit Mt. Koya in spring during cherry blossom season and in fall to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the autumn foliage.

Mt. Koya Introductory Video Summary

Image of Danjo Garan
Photo:Danjo Garan

As explained in the video, Mt. Koya has a long history dating back more than 1,200 years and is a sacred place worshipped by followers of Buddhism.

The entire mountain is sacred meaning there are a lot of tourist spots for you to visit within short distances of one another.
Before visiting, we highly recommend checking out the public transportation access to and from the mountain, as well as parking availability, hours, and walking courses to make the most of your trip to Mt. Koya.

【Official Website】Mt. Koya, Shingon Buddhism, Kongobuji temple

【Tripadvisor】Mt. Koya

Written By
Last Updated : Aug. 11, 2022
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
Koyasan Is a Holy Land for Japanese Buddhism Which Was Founded by Kukai. Come Purify Your Mind and Body at This Mysterious Power Spot in Wakayama Prefecture!
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