Ekoin Hotel Koyasan, Japan

Koyasan, Japan is the home of Esoteric Buddhism and is an active monastic center where monks can train. Koyasan was founded 1200 years ago, they celebrated the anniversary earlier in 2015. It is found up in the mountains about 50 km outside of Osaka at an elevation around 900 meters. We changed trains 3 times and took 1 very steep funicular to get here.

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Kobo Daishi was the monk who founded Koyasan and established Shingon Buddhism. Belief is that he entered eternal meditation in March of 835 and is still alive helping those who ask for salvation. He resides at the back of this cemetery, it takes 90 minutes to walk out to his temple and back so we just took photos from the front- there was a lot to see today!

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There are 117 temples in Koyasan, most are made of wood which is not the best idea and all of the original temples have been burnt down and rebuilt.

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We stayed at Ekoin, a monk monastery, in rooms like this!

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You may be asking where exactly is the bed but the monks-in-training bring them when we eat dinner or are out later in the day.

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The basic rules: no shoes anywhere! You can walk around in slippers provided, sandal provided, socks, or bare feet. It was really fun- I hate shoes! (don’t worry, the whole place was very, very clean!)

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Even in the bathrooms there are toilet slippers to slip on. Me in my room:

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Around Ekoin had beautiful grounds and temples for mediation and quiet reflection.  The walls are paper thin though (mostly because some of it is paper!) so any snorers or coughs would wake up a lot of your neighbors as well.

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The main two temple areas are almost a mile from Ekoin but there were a lot of cool sights on the way.

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We are washing up and then heading inside the main temple in Koyasan next! Stay tuned.

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