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“Thousand year old cedar trees, hauntingly beautiful cemetery” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Koyasan Okunoin

Koyasan Okunoin
550 Koyasan, Ito-gun, Koya-cho 648-0211, Wakayama Prefecture
+81 736-56-2002
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$196*
and up
Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in Koya-cho
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Dayton, Ohio
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Thousand year old cedar trees, hauntingly beautiful cemetery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

Said to have remains of Kukai (the founder of Esoteric Buddhism in Japan who came to Koyasan to create a community back in the 8th century), there are thousands and thousands buried here. It was cold and raining when we went, which made it even more beautiful and haunting at the same time. There are temples you can visit inside, and unlike many of the tourist-packed temples in Kyoto and Tokyo, these, as it is quite far away from any major city and takes a lot of effort to get up to the mountain, are much more calming and meditative.

Visited January 2014
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New York City, New York
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4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“eerily beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

It is worthwhile side trip to take. Pack a warmer layer in the spring if you are going to be there in the afternoon to evening, it gets rather chilly. Take the long path up to the mausoleum and the Tokugawa Family Tomb closes rather early.

Visited April 2013
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Singapore
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Amazing - make time to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

A beautiful and sombre place, just awesome.
The walk through the cedars is filled with gravestones and monuments, and leads to the temple - very spiritual and moving. This was the highlight of a beautiful day at Koyasan, well worth taking the time to catch the train and cablecar, then bus, to get to the village and the temples.

We didn't stay overnight in Koyasan, but instead took a day trip from Osaka, which worked fine. The train + cable car were great, lovely views of autumn colours across the hills. Koyasan itself wasn't too crowded, very simple lunch near the information centre, and efficient buses (running exactly to the timetable) to get from one part of Koyasan to the other.

Visited December 2013
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new york city
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Vast sacred space”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

The Okunoin cemetery has several paths shaded by enormous pine trees and many grave markers and monuments . It's a pilgrimage site.

Visited October 2013
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Saint Nicolas, Belgium
Top Contributor
192 reviews 192 reviews
98 attraction reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
“We loved it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

The atmosphere amongst the centuries-old cedars and other greenery is magnificent. The old graves are really beautiful with the mos on the stupas, the statues between the roots of the trees...it is really a very special place where we took our time to visit, take pictures and enjoy the atmosphere. Koyasan and Okunoin were really one of the highlights of my stay in Japan.

Visited October 2013
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