Journey to mountainous Wakayama to experience Mt. Koya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the center of Shingon Buddhism. Located amidst forested peaks and with over one hundred temple complexes, Mt. Koya possesses an aura of serene spirituality.
Experience the mysticism of Okunoin, a centuries old cemetery with over 200,000 graves lying among towering Japanese cedar trees and the resting place of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism. Explore Kongobu-ji Temple with its magnificent Banryutei Rock Garden, the largest rock garden in Japan, and visit the Reiho-kan Museum which houses Mt. Koya’s greatest artistic treasures.
Staying on Mt. Koya is a wonderful way to experience Buddhist life in Japan. Spend the night at a shukubo or Buddhist temple lodging where you will enjoy a traditional shojin-ryori or Buddhist vegetarian dinner. The following day, rise with the birds for morning prayers with the temple’s Buddhist monks. You may choose to spend the remainder of the morning or day hiking in and around Mt. Koya which offers a variety of trails that may be enjoyed from an hour to a full day.
A visit to Mt. Koya will be cherished for a lifetime.
JapanQuest Journeys’ unequaled access to insider places and our formidable network of local specialists and connoisseurs lets you experience a real slice of Japan’s highly diverse culture that goes far beyond having seen the sights, is close-up, hands-on and, above all, expert-guided.
Our Signature Journey Collection represents some of the most amazing and timeless places that remain off well-trodden paths and encompass fabulously beautiful, interesting and culturally enriching areas throughout Japan as wonderful alternatives to mainstream destinations.
Flexible duration stays are available that are perfect for travelers in the Asia region, cruise shore excursions and for those passing through Japan seeking an extraordinary journey.
Some of Our Most Popular Special Experiences
Japanese Cooking Lesson
Join a professional cooking instructor at her home to learn the art of Japanese cooking, enjoying a wonderful meal and delightful conversation.
Participate in a private Zen session with a Buddhist monk while learning not only the traditional aspects of zen meditation but also how zen can be used to enhance one’s daily life.
Visit a Kimono Maker
Visit a traditional multi-generational Kimono maker to see live how kimonos are designed and made.
Meet Unique Artisans
Visit with fascinating artists and discover their unique role in Japan’s culture, history and arts.
…and so much more based on interests!
Learn Taiko drumming from a professional taiko drum instructor. It is a tremendously fun and invigorating experience of beating the rhythmic drums that are uniquely Japanese.
Dinner with Geisha Entertainment
Enjoy a unique evening at a Japanese ochaya or introduction-only tea house for a private dinner with geisha entertainment. This wonderful experience will take you back in time.
Luxury Hotel and Ryokan Collection
Our Favorite Properties
Our exclusive selection of the most distinguished hotels and ryokans, personally visited time and again, let you revel in Japan’s heartfelt hospitality leaving nothing to be desired and all the time ensuring an unforgettable journey perfect in every aspect imaginable.
Souji-in Temple in Mt. Koya is a Buddhist pilgrimage temple or shukubo that offers upscale lodging within the temple complex. You will enjoy Souji-in’s tranquil setting and beautiful tatami rooms facing a lovely Japanese garden. You are also invited to participate in morning prayers which typically start around 6:00am and last for approximately thirty minutes. Your stay at Souji-in will be unforgettable.
“We had an excellent trip planning experience with Scott to create a very special holiday for my husband (Bob), 12 year old daughter, 10 year old son and I. Scott wanted to understand our priorities and interests. He had excellent suggestions and was incredibly responsive. Our guide for the week (Sako) was an invaluable resource to us and made the trip incredibly special. We appreciated her flexibility, knowledge, and sensitivity to what appealed to each member of our family. She had many wonderful suggestions and even called a restaurant we were eating at one night to make sure everything was going ok because she knew the menu was only in Japanese and my verbal skills are very basic. It would have been a very different trip without her.”
JapanQuest Journeys is committed to excellence, delivering a unique in-country experience that is unparalleled. Our clients truly access Japan, through the lens of insiders who know it exceedingly well.