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Saizenin Shukubo, Mount Koya

Story by Oku Japan

Posted: January 5, 2018

Mount Koya has been a place of religious devotion and ceremony since the 9th century when Kobo Daishi founded the first temple and the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Today there are more than a hundred monasteries, many of which have Shukubo lodgings for visitors. Shukubo are lodgings in Buddhist temples originally meant for pilgrims but now open to anyone. At dinner, you can taste the wonderful vegetarian Buddhist Shojin-ryori cuisine, prepared for you by the monks.

With a grand history, this Buddhist monastery is where the priest Shinran stayed in the 12th century, carving his famous wooden statue of Amida Buddha. It has a beautiful rock and moss garden designed by one of Japan’s most famous garden designers, Mirei Shigemori. Panasonic founder Konosuke Matsushita wrote his last books while staying here too. Waking up in the early morning, you will also have the opportunity to participate in the moving O-tsutome chanting ceremony.

You can stay at Saizenin Shukubo when visiting Mount Koya, on our Temples and Trails of Shikoku guided tour and our Kumano Kodo Complete self-guided tours.