Kobodaishi, Millenaryness, Sacred Koyasan
Koyasan, 800meters above sea level, is located the heart of the northern mountain district of Kii Peninsula, central region of the Japanese Islands. Kobodai Kukai, have preached the Esoteric Buddhism Shingon Mikkyo into Japan from China and he developed the mountain area as a sanctuary of selfdiscipline. He established monasteries in Koyasan about 1200 years ago. The Shingon Mikkyo originated in India and come to China via the famed Silk Road. Mount Koyasan is the fruit of deep faith of one individual. It's long history and wish for eternal peace and welfare of mankind have been successfully maintained by the faithful followers of Kobodaishi.
Access to Koyasan
•From Kansai International Airport Take the Nankai Line from Kansai International Airport to Namba Station then change Nankai Koya Line to go to Gokurakubashi Station. Then change again to the Nankai Cable Line for Koyasan Station. The journey takes about one and half hours.
•From Wakayama City Trains depart from Wakayama Station(JR Wakayama Line) to Hashimoto Station of Nankai Koya Line, change to Nankai Line to go to Gokurakubashi Station, then change the train again to the Nankai Cable Line to go to Koyasan Station. Total time taken is estimated at two hours.
By Car or Taxi
•From Osaka City Take Route 310 then Route 371 to get to Hashimoto City. From there to Koyasan take Route 24 to Route 480 (Koyasan Road). It will take about two and half hours.
When you get to Koyasan station, please take the bus to Daimon and get off the Kondo-mae stop. It takes for 15 minutes and costs 340 yen. If you take the bus to Okunoin , please get off the Senjyuin-bashi stop and walk to Yochiin for 10 minutes.
Welcome To Yõchi-in!
Many subsidiary temples of Kongobuji temple play a role based on faith and the study of Mikyo. In order to achieve this, they offer accommodation for visitors to Koyasan from Edoperiod. Today, there are has 52 temples within 117 subsidiary temples in Koyasan where there is available accommodation for visitors. The number of registered visitors exceeds one million annually. This temple is one of the main temple in Koyasan.
YOCHI-IN Temple was established in 1127 by Imperial Prince Kakuho, the fourth son of Emperor Shirakawa. It was originally named Yochi-in (養智院), using different Chinese characters from today, which means “a temple where wisdom is cultivated.” In 1258, Emperor Gosaga visited Yochi-in and was so impressed by the beautiful cherry blossoms reflected on the garden pond. He ordered His Imperial Highness Prince Kujo to compose a tanka (thirty-one syllables' poem) describing his serene mind reflected by the beautiful scenery of cherry blossoms reflected on the clear pond water. After that, this temple was renamed YOCHI-IN (櫻池院), a temple of cherry blossom pond. (Using different Chinese characters from the original but still has the same pronunciation.) Since the distant past through to the present day, YOCHI-IN has been one of the best Gakuryo-style temples which has been produced excellent scholars of Esoteric Buddhism in Koyasan.
You eat vegetable foods and sleep with Futon-bedding and attend religious morning ceremony (about 6:30 am), when you stay at temple.Bath and toilet are communal style. Temple lodging check in time is 15:00 pm to 17:00 pm.
At Yõchi-in the traditional customs of living in a Buddhist temple are observed. This leaflet is designed to offer you basic information. Knowing them will make your stay at Yõchi-in more enjoyable so we ask you to read leaflet carefully.
A traditional vegetarian, gourmet food is called Shojin-ryori in Japanese. It is skillfully cooked without any use of meat, fish, onions ,or garlic. The dishes in delicacy are Tempura, Aghe, Koya-tofu, Goma-tofu, Misosoup, sweet sour seaweeds in vineger, wild potate, and many others. The most delicious one among them is called Goma-tofu cooked with sesame seeds and starch. The taste is extremely good. Through eleven hundred years the old method of cooking has been secretly transmitted by monk to monk, chef to chef.
The most interesting small gifts and charms for your family are: Omie ( Daishi's portrait), Juzu rosary/beads, Daishi-pendant, amulet (Omamori) for driving safety, Buddha's scroll, Koya-tofu (dried fofu) and many others. These items are very handy and sold at many gifts stores or souvenir shops in the town.
There are sixty historical temples to accommodate the visitors with the traditional custom and manner in the mountain. Each temple is called Shukubo and welcomes you with full hospitality. The Shukubo certainly deserves a beautiful Japanese garden, traditional lodging rooms with Shoji, tatami, and fusuma doors, and a back yard garden with a tiny pond and Bonsai trees. Of interest (for staying) are futon-bed, classical furo-bath, and Zabton cushion. If you stay one night, you will learn the typical Japanese way of life in Shukubo temple.
When entering the temple you were asked to remove your shoes and change into slippers. Slippers may be worn throughout the whole temple, but please remove them slippers outside and change into toilet slippers which are ready inside the restroom.
The bathrooms are open from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. After entering the bathroom please remove your slippers. Once inside you will find baskets in the anteroom. Please put your clothes in there. The bath itself is entered completely undressed, only a small towel may be taken inside. Please wash yourself before entering the bathtub. In Japan the bath is a place of communication as well as relaxation so please take your time.
All meals served are traditional temple cuisine and are strictly vegetarian. Dinner is taken at 5:30 p.m.
All meals are served with green tea, however other beverages are available including beer and sake.
You will sleep on futon, which are rolled out on the tatami. The temple gate is closed at 9:00 p.m.
The morning service is conducted at 6:30 a.m. You may enter the hondõ (main hall of worship) a couple of minutes earlier. The hondõ is sacred place, so please enter in proper attire. No yukata may be worn inside the hondõ. Slippers are removed before entering the hondõ. After the morning service breakfast will be ready at 7:30 a.m.
Please pay your bill at the temple office before you leave. If you have received a coupon from your travel agency, please hand it over to the staff your arrival.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask at the office any time.
We wish you a pleasant stay at Yõchi-in