Japan’s best tour linking two World Heritage sites, Kudoyama ~ Koyasan

A one-night, two-day trip to Kudoyama, a hidden region of Wakayama filled with Japanese nature and history.

Kudoyama in Wakayama Prefecture is the starting point of the Mt Koya Pilgrimage Route, where old traditions and landscapes live on to this day. This tour provides a valuable opportunity to experience the Japanese culture unique to Kudoyama.

A pleasant time can be spent interacting with the locals through activities such as tea ceremony, helmet making, and Japanese cooking experiences. Additionally, the Tahoto pagoda at Jison-in Temple, built by Kukai (774–835), the founder of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism at Mt Koya, will open for the first time in over 400 years. Inside the pagoda, a statue of Amida Buddha is enshrined. The Tahoto pagoda has never been open to the public since it was built in the early Edo period (1603–1867), but it will be opened for the first time in the fall of 2023. Please come and join us for this historic moment!

To commemorate this moment, a light-up event will also be held on the grounds of Jison-in Temple during the tour, and visitors will be welcomed by Japanese paper lanterns made from traditional “Koyagami” paper produced in the towns of Kudoyama and Koya in Wakayama Prefecture; enjoy the magical evening atmosphere—an entirely different charm compared to that during the day. For the second day of the tour, a trek along the Koyasan chōishi-michi trail, which is also registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is planned. The chōishi-michi trail leads from Jison-in Temple in Kudoyama to the grand central pagoda of Kongobu-ji Temple on Mt Koya. The 180 stone pillars (chōishi) that stand along the route have led worshipers to the sanctuary ever since Kukai established the Mt Koya temple complex. It is one of the historic Mt Koya Pilgrimage Routes and is also registered as a World Heritage Site. Come and visit Kudoyama and Koyasan for a wonderful cultural experience!

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