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[Okunoin, Garan & Kongobuji] Private tour by local monks living in Mount Koya

Mount Koya
4 Hours
up to 5 people
English ( Business )

We are a group composed of monks living in Koyasan. We spent long years as monks at temples in Koyasan. We studied Buddhist teachings directly from Buddhist priests of Koyasan and interpreted them to foreigners. Friendly young monks will be happy to explain daily living, training at Koyasan temples that a general public can not see, and important teachings of the esoteric Buddhism.


  • 【Okunoin cemetery】◆ Rocket & termite tomb and big company’s headstones ◆Touching a tree of 850 years old ◆The biggest tombstone in Okunoin ◆Samurai graves such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi ◆ The monument of Matsuo Basho ◆ Weigh the weight of your own sin ◆ Mizumuke Jizo :Visitors throw water on the statues to pray for their departed family members. ◆ Ajimi Jizo :Jizo Bodhisattva who tastes Kobo Daishi’s meals. ◆ Torodo: Spectacular lantern hall with more than 20,000 lanterns ◆ Senryo (Memorial tombs dedicated to teeth and nails of the imperial family) ◆ Gobyo: The place where Kukai still remains alive to this day. ◆ Torodo’s basement: We can approach Kukai very close. There are 50,000 tiny statues that have been donated to Okunoin.

  • 【Kongobuji】 ◆Banryutei (Japan’s largest rock garden) ◆Yanaginoma (Willow Room: Hidetsugu suicide room) ◆Tensuioke (Rain Barrel) ◆ Kyozo (Scripture Storehouse) ◆Shoro (Bell Tower) ◆Daigenkan & Kogenkan (Entrance) ◆Ohiroma & Jibutsuma Umenoma (Plum Room) ◆ Betsuden (Temple Annex) ◆Shin Betsuden (New Temple Annex) ◆ Shoin Jodan no Ma (Gold Leaf Wall) Courtyard ◆ Okushoin (Resting Area for the Imperial Family) ◆ Chigonoma (Page Room) ◆ Tsuchimuro (Earth Room) ◆Kitchen

  • 【Garan】 ◆Kondo (Golden Hall) ◆Konpon Daito (Great Pagoda) ◆Chumon (Twin-tiered & five-sectioned gate) ◆Miedo (Great Portrait Hall) ◆Miyashiro (Shrine Complex) ◆Rokkaku Kyozo (Hexagonal Depository of the Scriptures) ◆Saito (West Tower) ◆Kujyakudo (Prayer for Rain) ◆Jyunteido (Temple for pabajja)

Departure & Return

Starting time 10:00 AM ( recommended )   Flexible
Meeting Point Nankai Koyasan station or place you stay at within Mount Koya
Ending Point Nankai Koyasan station or place you stay at within Mount Koya

Inclusions & Exclusions

What‘s included

Guide fee, free Wi-Fi, photo data, rental traditional clothes, write your name in Japanese by calligraphy, special compensation by travel agency (in case of emergency accident)

What‘s not included

Common ticket for visiting temples: 1500 JPY/ person (It works at any of the six temples and can be purchased for just one fee.)
Guests' transportation fee (World Heritage Koyasan one-day free bus ticket Adults: 830 JPY / Children: 420 JPY)
Lunch (about 1500 JPY/ person)


If a tour has to be cancelled due to a rainy weather, we will refund the tour price in full.

It is possible to change the meeting place and the finishing place within Koyasan.
It is also possible to arrange Buddhist experiences, a shuttle accompanying the tour, meal and accommodation facilities in Koyasan.
We recommend you to join our tour with shoes that are easy to walk.
Since there are few places where you can use credit cards in Koyasan, we recommend that you bring cash.
Your lunch and drink are not included, we drop by a local restaurant for lunch.
It is also possible to accompany lunch, but in that case please pay lunch fee for the guide.

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation - 8 days prior to meeting time
  • 70% Refund - 3 to 7 days prior to meeting time
  • 20% Refund - 1 to 2 days prior to meeting time
  • No Refund - less than 24 hours before the meeting time

Frequently Asked Questions

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Reviews ( 4 )
Bridget Bridget New Zealand ( Family with kids )
1 year ago

“ Insightful, charming and fun. ”

Nobu the monk took us on an amazing personal journey into the world and history of esoteric Buddhism. He took us to the most incredible temples and grounds which were profoundly affecting. Immersing us in the traditions of Buddhism with delightful charm.

Koyasan monk guide:

Thank you for visiting Koyasan and it was an honor to guide your family!

Riitta Riitta Finland ( Solo )
1 year ago

“ Best way to visit Koyasan's many points of interest ”

I was lucky to have Nobu as my guide in Koyasan. He is very kind, thoughtful and knowledgeable. We visited Garan, Kongobuji and some other places and during the tour he told me so much about temples and Buddhism etc. Highly recommended.

Glenn Glenn United States ( Couple )
1 year ago

“ Monk tour vs “regular” tour ”

Very interesting and informative tour. Learning more about this sect of Buddhism and the spiritual significance of the area was enlightening. Highly recommend a monk tour instead of “regular” tour.

Koyasan monk guide:

It was an honor to guide you while you are in Koyasan. We are looking forward to seeing you again, have a great day. All the best, Nobu

Cheryl Cheryl United States ( Couple )
2 years ago

“ An amazing day ”

Our day with Nobuhiro made Koyasan the highlight of our 3 week vacation in Japan. Nobu was well informed He is a great story teller and shared a wealth of information about Esoteric Buddhism . He was well prepared without boring us with lots of statistics that would soon be forgotten We never felt rushed but managed to see all the major sights as well as a special fall festival at the Shinto shrine. Nobu is a great photographer and documented of our visit to Okunoin, Garen and Kunjobuji. Hiring a Monk guide was money well spent.

Koyasan monk guide:

Thank you for coming to Koyasan the other day. It was an honor to meet you, I am glad It seems like you enjoyed Koyasan. We will try to make people who came to visit Koyasan by the guidance unique to local monks in Koyasan. We would be pleased if we could offer seasonal festivals and interesting stories that people can not find on the Internet. I am looking forward to seeing you again next time.

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