Top Rated Shukubo (Temple Inn Stays) in Koya-san

Pictured above: Koyasan Onsen Fukuchi-in

In recent years, the popularity of shukubo, temple inn stays, has exploded as people search for a cultural experience deeper than the bright lights of Tokyo. The lodgings, mostly clustered in the sacred World Heritage site of Koya-san (Mt. Koya) in Wakayama Prefecture, were originally used to accommodate Buddhist priests and practitioners, but now also accept regular tourists. A Buddhist temple is also usually located on site.

 

The Shukubo Experience

One of the main appeals of staying at such a unique lodging is the opportunity to sample the distinct cuisine and take part in cultural activities not available elsewhere. Shojin-ryori is Buddhist vegetarian cuisine which follows Buddhist precepts and is prepared with vegetables, beans, and other plant derived ingredients.

Many guests also elect to rise early to observe a religious service by the Buddhist priests.

Depending the temple lodging, guests can also engage in a range of other Buddhist practices such as:

– Sutra transcription
– Buddhist image tracing
– Ajikan Meditation: Meditate while looking at the Sanskrit symbol for “A”.
– Horai-making Experience: Cut the 12 Chinese zodiac animals from paper to create a lucky cut-out charm known as a horai.
– Prayer Bead-making Experience: Make a set of prayer beads which Buddhist priests and practitioners wear on their wrist when praying and use as a charm.

 

Recommended Shukubo

Ready to try staying at a shukubo yourself on your next Japan trip? Below is a list of the top 10 Mt. Koya shukubo based on popularity on JAPANiCAN.com, together with reviews given by satisfied guests. Staying at any of these properties will ensure you get the full Buddhist temple experience, cultural immersion, and memories for life!

Koyasan Onsen Fukuchi-in | Jimyoin | Hongakuin | Fudoin | Fumonin | Jokiin | Eko-in | Daienin | Souji-in | Rengein

Koyasan Onsen Fukuchi-in

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657 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Guest Review:

“We hiked the Choishi Michi pilgrimage trail into Koya san and arrived a little later than expected… in the middle of their dinner service. Despite this the staff were great and had us checked in with a tour in no time. The grounds are beautiful and the room/onsen/food experience was the perfect thing after a challenging hike. They even give you yukata to wear around which was fun! The bathrooms aren’t in your room but it wasn’t a problem, they were close. I loved the vegetarian meals they were filling and interesting and served in your room with tea. Also lovely. All in all a very pleasant stay. The only thing was that the temple was a bit of a walk from the Daimon gate and the okunoin but it was not hard to find and koyasan has a good bus system. Highly recommend. …More
by Amanda (Canada, age: 20-29)

 

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Jimyoin

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455 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.6 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“We loved our stay here very much and it way exceeded our expectations for the price paid. The room was very spacious and the temple grounds is very beautiful. It was very peaceful and was a great relaxing stay! The attractions are within walking distance from the temple as it is quite centrally located in Koyasan. The vegetarian meals were well prepared and delicious. The shared bath was very nice too. …More
by Janice (Singapore, age: 20-29)

 

 

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Hongakuin

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618 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.7 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“We had a wonderful stay at Hongakuin temple .The monks were so sweet to us and made us feel very comfortable,they speak a little English. The accommodation was spotless and peaceful.The food even though vegan was delicious, filling and so beautifully presented.We stayed for two nights which we would recommend and each evening meal was different, we had vegetables that we had never eaten before and we love vegetables. Hongakuin must have its own chef ! We had a room with a view of the garden which we would recommend.The public bath was hot and relaxing. We attended morning prayers both days and were welcomed, they provided chairs so we were not uncomfortable. Hongakuin is the most beautiful of temples and quiet….More
by From Yorkshire living in the USA (USA, age:50-59)

 

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Fudoin

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456 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Itsu-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.8 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“The monk who manages guests was kind and helpful. He knocks on your door for dinner and breakfast if you request it so you don’t miss anything! The temple is beautiful, as is the scenery. The food was interesting, for sure, with dinner being much better than breakfast in my opinion. …More
by Shayna (USA, age: 20-29)

 

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Fumonin

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608 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.5 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“Wonderful experience. …More
by huelleri (Italy, age: 30-39)

 

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Jokiin

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365 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.7 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“Very authentic experience, i can just recommend it – the morning prayers in particular! Good location to visit sites, kind of in the middle. Food is vegan, didn’t really know what I was eating but that’s part of the experience I think – just try it! …More
by Martina (Austria, age: 20-29)

 

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Eko-in

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497 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.4 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“The monks are great, friendly and with good English – highly recommend night tour. We went to the morning service and fire ceremony too and it was well worth it. There are temples with fancier rooms and food out there, but for what we wanted and the price it was more than adequate. This temple’s strong point is their English explanations of Shingon Buddhism via the (optional) tour/their booklets/the (optional) meditation session/the monks themselves. …More
by m (Japan, age: under 20)

 

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Daienin

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594 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.5 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“Our stay at Daienin was great, apart from the mix up when we checked in where the young monk wasn’t aware that we had prepaid. It was probably due to the language issue so I didn’t mind. The room was spacious, beds were extremely comfortable, and neighbors were very quiet (I think we were the only non-Japanese people there). The bathrooms and baths were great as well as being super clean. The meals were simply delicious. Sure there were a couple items I didn’t like but there were so much to eat that I was stuffed. …More
by JP (USA, age: 50-59)

 

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Souji-in

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143 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.3 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“My wife and I had a wonderful time staying at this shukubo. It was location in Koya-san was pretty good and we reached it after a easy 5-10 minute walk from the bus stop. Although staff at the inn didn’t have very good English, they spoke enough to get us checked in and introduce us to the facilities and showed us how to use the baths, etc. The room were beautifully appointed in the traditional Japanese ryokan style with tatami floors. The vegetarian kaiseki-style dinner they served us in our room was really fantastic, and the breakfast was amazing too. We also attended the morning religious service they held in the adjacent temple, which was a wonderful and unique experience for us. All in all, we really loved this place and we wished we could have stayed longer! …More
by Peng & Daisy (Sweden, age: 30-39)

 

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Rengein

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425 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture

 

Guest Rating: (4.5 / 5)

 

Guest Review:
“Renegin [sic] was a delight! Spotlessly clean, delicious and beautifully presented meals, great location in the centre of Koyasan with bus stop out front and beautifully polite and kind staff and monks. The women’s bath was a little small. Morning prayers were simple and the monk kindly gave us a small tour after the service. I would definitely come back. A wonderful stay! …More
by JayNat (Australia, age: 50-59)

 

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Still want more?

>> See all available shukubo in Mt. Koya

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