Known as the pillar of the Buddhist religion in Japan, the Mount Kōya is one of the most important places for Buddhists of Japan after Mount Fuji. The easiest way to access it is from the Namba station in Ōsaka via Nankai line to Gokurakubashi station. This is a very pleasant route by which you will be moving slowly towards the beautiful countryside of the Wakayama prefecture. The contrast to one of the biggest cities in Japan - Ōsaka - is staggering. From Gokurakubashi station, you will be taking the cable car to access the terminal station, then a bus that will directly take you to the city center of Mount Kōya. The journey to this quiet place surrounded by the comforting nature will make you feel as if you have been disconnected from the human world for an instant.
Koyasan is a peaceful little mountain town placed deep in the cedar-pine forest. It boasts an residentantial area that is surrounded by about fifty monasteries and temples. One of the most impressive features of this place is the Tōrōdō temple’s lighting which consists of about a thousand lanterns, some of which have been lit for centuries, never to be put out.
In Koyasan, you will be able to visit the biggest cemetery in Japan. By entering the magnificent forest surrounding the cemetery, you will be able admire the statue of the Shingon Buddhism founder, Kōbō Daishi, resting in an eternal meditation. This place is wonderful to visit during the day with the sunlight permanating in between the huge trees, shedding light on the beautiful statues and the ancient graves of this spiritual place. Still, you might want to try visiting the Okunoin’s cemetery during the night as well, as it is lit up by the rows of beautiful lanterns placed on the sides of the main path.