Muryokoin

Muryokoin, Koya-cho

6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday
6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday
6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday
6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday
6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday
6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday
6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday
6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
About
Welcome to Muryokoin in Koyasan. Muryokoin is a Shingon Temple and Shukubo (temple-lodging) in Kobo Daishi's Paradise. Muryokoins history goes back more than 1000 years. Muryokoin was united with Shicchiin after a big fire in 1888, during the Meji period. Both temples were located on different places in Koyasan before and moved to their present location after the fire. The name of Muryokoin means temple of immeasurable light, which refers to our main deity, Amida. Muryoko is the Japanese translation for Amitabha, Amida Nyorai in Japanese. He is the Buddha of infinite light and thus of infinite life. Amitabha is working for the enlightenment of all sentient beings by visualizing this world as paradise. He is located in the Taizo-/Matrix-Mandala in the West. Our guest rooms are traditional Tatami-rooms. You are welcome to book a stay with us through our English Website. During your stay you are invited to participate in the morning ceremony and watch Goma, the Shingon-Fire-Ceremony.
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4.0
65 reviews
Excellent
28
Very good
21
Average
4
Poor
7
Terrible
5

ilija
4 contributions
Dec 2019
Most temples in Mt. Koya are practically run as independent estates that may offer Shukubo (temple stay) to visitors. So depending on how involved you’re willing to get, you may appreciate being welcomed to (and become part of) temple’s daily life.

The hospitality you’ll experience in Muryoko-in runs deep. Even the temple entrance has a unique welcoming beauty to it that extends to the halls and beyond. People working at the temple are very well versed and attuned to modern matters, helpful, funny, and charming.

Central to any working temple are Kitchen/Dining hall on one hand with the Meditation hall on the other. The first pair represents a hub of daily activity with candle-lit meditation hall as their deeply absorbed counterpart.

One really needs to experience both the food and the morning ceremony in order to appreciate just how much care and responsibility goes into daily life there.

Beautiful room, beautiful food, beautiful people.
Written December 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mattia_Fornari
Piacenza, Italy875 contributions
Aug 2019 • Friends
The monastery is beautiful and the atmosphere is incredible; all the rooms overlook a zen garden and the monks are all very kind and gentle. The food is depending by the days: the first day we ate very bad but the second one everything was very good! Hope you arrive the right day ;)

Weak point: the staff don’t speak English very much
Written August 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brandon R
1 contribution
May 2019 • Solo
Muryoko-in was fantastic in every way. The monks themselves were very helpful and kind. Most only speak limited english so keep that in mind - but they will still go the extra mile to help. The room was beautiful (be ready to sleep on a futon on the ground) and the gardens were majestic. The meditation in the morning was also very cool and otherworldly especially for the non-Buddhists out there. They even had a small part of the ceremony where you could participate. It also did not feel overly touristy or busy even though there were probably around 10 other groups (maybe ~25 people?) staying at the temple, most of whom were buddhists from other Asian countries or domestic tourists.

They aren't joking about everything being closed in the evening in Koyasan, but that was fine because I was plenty happy just sitting in the room and walking around the building. I did end up walking down a random alleyway and finding a nice little bar where no english was spoken at all - sorry, I don't know the name. I would recommend taking a little time in the evening and just walking down the alleyways in the town and seeing what you pop into. I am male, but at no point did I feel even slightly unsafe in this town full of buddhist monks.

I highly recommend your trip to Japan includes Koyasan (even for one night) and I highly recommend that you choose to stay at Muryoko-in (I booked through Japeneseguesthomes.com which I found to be nice as a booking website.)
Written May 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Richard R
Brisbane, Australia26 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
My wife and I stayed for one night in April 2019. Firstly, getting to the Monastery from Osaka was easy thanks to the detailed information provided in advance....Shin-Osaka subway to Namba, Nankai train(via Hashimoto), cable car to the mountain and short bus ride followed by short walk. The welcome was as warm as the water in the two communal hot tubs(separate for male and female). After check-in we returned in time for the vegetarian dinner(5.30)in an 8-tatami mat room sitting cross-legged. It is amazing what these people can do with locally-grown produce to make a dinner so interesting for the taste buds without meat, fish or eggs. Sleep was so peaceful ryokan-style on a futon with an early rise to see(and take a small part in)the morning fire ceremony starting at 6am. This was followed by vegetarian breakfast, this time with all guests and a terrific PR exercise by our hosts who were able to converse with guests fluently in a variety of foreign languages.
This experience is highly recommended. The monks were super welcoming, displayed an entertaining sense of humour and seemed generally sad to see us go.
Further, Koyasan has so much more to offer than just a night in a Buddhist monastery.
This was a major highlight of our three-week trip to Japan.
Richard and Yvonne Read
Brisbane
Australia
Written April 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michal K
21 contributions
Mar 2019 • Couples
This stay was our best experience on our trip. The stay in this Buddhist temple was perfect. Every one was very friendly and helpful even if you come from a different culture the monks here make you feel welcome and they treat you as you were one of them. The morning ceremony is the best experience of it all.
Written March 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bebsaurus_13
Paris, France732 contributions
Oct 2018 • Friends
We spent two nights in the temple lodgings with breakfast and dinner on both days, and it was a very enriching experience.

Our lodgings were on the ground floor overlooking the beautiful garden and were spacious. The beds were futons, and while the first night was a bit of a shock, the second night was fine. I was glad to have brought my own little pillow though. The toilets were communal to our section, but there were enough for everyone, and they were clean and modern. The onsen was small but nice and hot.

The food is prepared in accordance with the order's principles, so is vegetarian, and simple (very little spices, relying on the natural flavours of the food) - we were able to try the area's speciality of sesame tofu. I especially enjoyed the varied flavours and textures of my meals, and could eat sitting on the floor with no particular problems, but others in the group struggled. As we were a large group, we ate in a dining room with a monk dedicated to keeping our rice bowls and tea stocked, which was nice.

I attended one morning service, which was very beautiful and interesting to watch, we were asked to participate as well, but it was simply a case of doing what the person in front did, so nothing complicated. Note that once it starts, no one enters or leaves, so you need to be committed to the full hour and a half.

Finally, guests should remember that this is a working Buddhist temple not a hotel, it is beside the point to expect hotel services and accomodation.
Written November 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BernardN32
Leuven, Belgium43 contributions
Apr 2018 • Friends
It was the first time I stayed in a temple lodging and really loved it. The monks are very helpful and do their best to let you experience their Buddhist lifestyle. In the evening an extensive and very tasty shōjin-ryōri (vegetarian meal) was delivered to our room. Early in the morning you are invited to attend their morning ceremony, followed by an explanation both in Japanese and English. Afterwards a traditional breakfast is served in the common room. An interesting and unique experience, essential for your visit to Koyasan.
Written April 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Saranger
Los Angeles, CA9,168 contributions
Nov 2017 • Couples
Spent one night here at this temple stay. Booked online and the process was very easy. Room wasn't ready when we arrived so we were invited to leave our bags and sightsee in town.

When we returned, we were shown to our room by Yang (from Shanghai, China) and advised dinner would be brought to our room between 6-6:30pm. By 7pm we still had no meal so my husband went to check on it. Yang hadn't officially checked us in (and taken our passport info and payment) and so the staff didn't think we had arrived yet! After another 20 minutes we got our dinner and it was delicious! Vegetarian Buddhist cuisine an everything was fresh and delicious. (My husband has a more Western palate, so he might disagree with me on that!)

The only problem with the late dinner was by the time we finished we now didn't have the time to go take a communal bath AND walk around Koya in the dark and visit the cemetery. That was a disappointment.

Room was comfortable and even the cold we were warm enough.

The next morning I rose early to attending morning prayers with the monks (maybe 2/3 of the guests did so) at 6:30am. One hour, it was unforgettable! So glad I did that and I'd recommend everyone do that.

Back in our room we got ready (you can only bathe at night, so no morning hot shower) and our breakfast was delivered shortly after. We were told we'd eat breakfast in the communal dining room with the other guests, but instead we ate in our room (no explanation, but it was fine). Breakfast was hot tea with cold vegetarian dishes. Again, very good!

We left our bags at the front when we went out to walk around Koya. When we returned, Yang graciously offered us a ride to the bus station-thank you, Yang!

We had a wonderful stay and wish many blessings and much peace upon the monks at Muryokoin.
Written December 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

PMannaro
Tokyo10 contributions
Oct 2017 • Couples
Before writing this review, I read what others had written. My feeling is that KoyaSan and 'Temple Stay' (shukubo) is a privilege, and some (mental) flexibility is needed by guests. We did not eat here, so I cannot comment on that.

Muryokoin is yet another of the very beautiful temples of Koyasan. The garden is lovely, and can be enjoyed on the way to morning sutra chanting.

Muryokoin allows all guests (and even drop-in guests) to attend at 6am and 5pm in the temple proper, where the three altars are. There is no obligation to attend, or to attend the entire service. My husband slept peacefully through five of them (in his room), and was not disturbed by anything. However, for those who wish to learn a little more about Japanese Buddhism, and particularly Shingon Buddhism, the session 6-7:30am every day is a great treasure. Most temple sessions for tourists on KoyaSan are 30mins. There are three altars, and one altar (that of Fūdo Myoo) is where the goma ( fire ceremony ) takes place.

Guests may purchase a small wooden tablet for wishes (500Yen), and these will be offered, placed on the goma the following day. I have stayed at two other temples on KoyaSan, and of the three, I found Muryokoin to provide the best possibilities for those who wish to learn and participate in Buddhist rites.

There are a few non-Japanese monks and nuns who stay at this temple short / long term, and the senior monks were extremely kind to us; answering many questions, and giving freely of their time, despite their demanding schedules.

The bathing and bathroom facilities are fine in the warm months, but in the cold months, temples ( and many Japanese ryokan ) have chilly, un-heated corridors, since the facilities are not en-suite, and are those used by the monks and nuns.

Also worth noting is that Muryokoin stands out for its excellent website in English language, which provides a wealth of detailed information on KoyaSan and on Shingon Buddhism. Many of the other 52 Shukubo temples have very little English on their websites, or none at all. So, Muryokoin has a clear wish to reach out to non-Japanese.

Initially the temple could not accommodate us for all 6 nights, but they were good enough to fit us in for the whole period after making some changes. We are very grateful for this and for all that we received.
Written October 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SanFranMan2000
San Francisco, CA196 contributions
Nov 2016 • Couples
I've stayed in many temple lodgings in various countries. To bottom-line this one for you, there are so many other great lodgings in Koyasan, you should not pick this one. I don't write this review lightly. I went to great lengths to confirm with other people my findings about this place. And I discovered this place has a bit of a reputation among monks in Koyasan. While the senior-most monk here is very welcoming and the few nuns we encountered were kind, the general mood at this lodging was negative. The monks in the front office seemed bothered by us checking in, hated to look up from their computer screens, and generally never returned a sincere smile or greeting the week we were there. A few of the young monks were just clueless or reserved, and that's okay given their age. But the others ranged from distant to outright rude. My Asian partner also was the first to notice that the rudest monks (who often made disparaging faces at us!) were all smiles and sweetness to Japanese visitors. That wasn't cool. I confirmed with other guests that they felt the place was unfriendly and odd. The facilities were just okay, and I'll skip the negatives because this is, after all, supposed to be a bit of a no-frills experience. But I will say that our shoji screen didn't go all the way to the ceiling, so we heard every cough, movement, and conversation in the room next to ours, meaning we didn't get great sleep. The futons were not very comfortable compared to other places. And since smoking is permitted, we had to endure cigarette smoke; our clothes smelled of it. On the positive, there was a beautiful tree outside our window, wifi was excellent, the location was fine, and the all-important gas heater in the room was superb. The food wasn't very good, so I'd skip it if you do decide to stay here. But really, don't stay here. Unless you think 6 open-minded people have totally misjudged this place, and the other monks we spoke with in Koyasan are being unfair as well.
Written December 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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  • Sun - Sat 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM

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