Another day in Japan, another unique experience! We went to Mount Koya (Koyasan) to spend the night at Jokiin Buddhist temple and attend morning prayers. Considered the most sacred mountain in Japan, it is the center of Shingon Buddhism and over 200 temples. In 2004, UNESCO designated Mount Koya a World Heritage Site.
I figured it would take us about 3 hours to get there. Well, after a few different trains, a bus ride, and a whole lot of walking, it ended up taking a little over 7 hours to get there! Whew!
After a brief check in, our large tatami room was all set and dinner was served right away.
I was really looking forward to this since we were staying in a ryokan which is a Japanese-style inn where you can experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle and hospitality. It features elements such as tatami floors, futon beds, and wearing a yukata (Japanese cotton robe).
One of the monks came in to set up our shojin-ryori dinner which is vegetarian or vegan cuisine followed by Buddhist monks.
The meal was light and delicious. The seasonal vegetables and ingredients were great.
After our meal, we had the chance to take an indoor hot spring bath. We went to bed soon after since we had to be up early for morning prayers with the monks! What a day!
365 Koyasan Koya-cho
Ito-gun 648-0211, Wakayama Prefecture