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Koyasan Travel Guide

Browse 3 travel reviews, 8 travel blogs and 535 travel photos from real travelers to Koyasan.

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Koyasan Overview

Koyasan (高野山;san means Mountain) is a mountain in Wakayama prefecture to the south of Osaka. First settled in 819 by the monk Kūkai, Koyasan is primarily known as the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. Located in an 800 m high valley amid the eight peaks of the mountain, the original monastery has grown into the town of Koya, featuring a university dedicated to religious studies and 120 temples, many of which offer lodging to pilgrims. The mountain is home to the following famous sites:

Okunoin (奥の院), the mausoleum of Kūkai, surrounded by an immense graveyard (the largest in Japan)
Konpon Daitō (根本大塔), a pagoda that according to Shingon doctrine represents the central point of a mandala covering not only Koyasan but all of Japan
Kongōbu-ji (金剛峰寺), the headquarters of the Shingon sect

In 2004, UNESCO designated Koyasan, along with two other locations on the Kii Peninsula, as World Heritage Sites.

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