This Website is for basic tourism info. and tips while you stay in Koyasan. Please enjoy your staying in Koyasan.

Things to Do

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You can have fun in a variety of experiences. Please enjoy the experience while you enjoy staying in Koyasan.

Experience Buddhism

Experience Buddhism 
At Koyasan, everyone can experience religious ceremonies, mediation, and shakyo with their own eyes and bodies if you want.

・Shakyo – How about trying a shakyo, channeling your wishes into every character and word of the sutra? You will certainly feel great relief in your heart after placing your spirit into the writing and wiping away all meaningless worries.
・Hannya Shingyo (The heart sutra) is praised as follows: “It teaches us about the wisdom of Shingon – the grand core of the wisest bodhisattva. The entire sutra fits on a single page, reaching a mere 14 lines. Despite its simplicity, it gets the main point and has deep meaning.”

Ajikan Meditation

Ajikan… Koyasan Method of Contemplation
“Ajikan” is a meditation method of the Shingon sect that was originally used by monks to relax and train their minds. But recently, many visitors to Koyasan have asked about meditation methods in Koyasan, so the method normally performed by monks has been transmitted to visitors as well.
In this method, you meditate while looking at the Sanskrit letter “A.”
The lotus below the letter represents the physical heart, and also expresses knowledge.

Jyukai Sutras

Jukai is a formal and ancient Buddhist ceremony for taking refuge in the Buddha and receiving the Buddhist lay precepts. Anyone, regardless of religious beliefs or faith, may receive these precepts, which are guides to living a wholesome and virtuous life. You do not need to be a Buddhist to receive these precepts, and receiving them does not necessarily make you a Buddhist unless you wish it to be so. Traditionally, a person with the aspiration to follow the Buddhist path becomes a Buddhist layperson by taking refuge in Buddhism and receiving the precepts in a ceremony such as this.

It has been taught since ancient times that the merit of formally receiving the Buddhist precepts from a virtuous master is very great indeed, because the precepts are the most fundamental and core practice of a Buddhist. In his Last Will, Kobo Daishi Kukai (774-835), the founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan, wrote,


Among the Ten Wholesome Precepts, three concern the body, four concern speech, and three mind. These ten are the branches, and the one-mind is the root. The essence of the one-mind is no different from the Buddha. My mind, the minds of all sentient beings, and the mind of the Buddha are three, but there is no difference among them. Abiding in this mind is called cultivating the path of the buddhas.

The precepts are given at Daishi Kyokai in the traditional way during an ancient ceremony conducted by a fully ordained Buddhist master. The original form of this ceremony goes back 2.500 years, to the time of the Buddha, and has been preserved in Japan for 1,200 years. It is an experience that anyone interested in Buddhist or Japanese culture will find moving and fascinating.
Koyasan Daishi Kyokai

Buddhist Sutra Writing

The practice of copying out Buddhist scriptures (Sitras) has long been popular in East Asia. Sutra-copying is not a difficult practice. It is used both as a form of meditation and as a devotional act. Sitras are the authoritative sources of Buddhist teachings, and because of the great merit their teachings contain, the merit of copying them can be dedicated to many wholesome purposes. Japanese will often dedicate sutra-copying to the repose of a deceased loved one, or for attaining some prayer or wish. The purpose of the copying may be appended to the finished copy, which is often dedicated to a temple. Carefully and slowly copying each of the Chinese characters of a sutra one by one will provide a relaxed and refreshed mental State.

The most popular sutra selected for copying is the Heart Sitra of the Perfection of Wisdom. An extremely short text of only 262 characters, it provides the essential teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. A simple translation is provided below, and it is hoped that through copying the Heart Sitra, you will appreciate its profound meaning and investigate it further.

Kobo Daishi Kukai wrote in his Secret Key to the Heart Sutra,
Reciting, upholding, explaining, and revering the Heart Sitra will relieve suffering and provide ease. Practice what it teaches and meditate on it, and you will attain enlightenment and the wisdom of the Buddha.
Through copying the Heart Sitra and coming into contact with its profound teachings, may you and all beings experience release from suffering and enjoy peace.
Koyasan Daishi Kyokai

Night Tour

Currently, there are 3 groups that operate night tours for Koyasan.
For details, inquire using the links below.

All Koyasan Area
KCCN (Offer Guided Tour)

Okuno-in Area
Night Tour(Japanese and English Mixed HP)

Garan Area
Garan Twilight Wanders

Address: 347 Koyasan Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture
Phone: 0736-56-2015 External Link

Forest Bathing (only in Japanese)

This is a program for restoring natural energy of body and mind through the conscious use of all five senses, taking in the forest’s natural landscape through the views, smells, sounds, and feels.

Koyasan was certified in 2007 as a “Forest Therapy Center” ? including areas listed as world heritage sites in the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.”
You can easily take part in the therapeutical experience in Koyasan forests, with their blending of history and nature. We hope you enjoy the experience.
However, the experience takes place in Japanese, so we limit participation to people who understand Japanese or who have a translator with you.

Koyasan Temple Forest Association

Address: 45-17 Koyasan Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture
Phone: 0736-56-2828 External Link

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