Muryokoin
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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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles65 reviews
Excellent
28
Very good
21
Average
4
Poor
7
Terrible
5

ZenChrisW
Iowa City, IA3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Friends
Our modern reason for travel is tourism, looking for fun and interesting sights to see. Certainly, this is possible at Koyasan, but shukubo like Muryokoin were originally established for those on pilgrimage to the holy mountain. Thus Muryokoin and other shukubo are not hotels and shouldn't be judged as such.
As an American Soto Zen practitioner I went to Koyasan and to Muryokoin as a pilgrim and this made all the difference in my experience there.

Beyond that a shukubo is more similar to a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn. You sleep on rather thin futon on hard tatami mats. Yes, I found this uncomfortable as a Westerner, but this is typical traditional Japanese accommodation. Since the walls were shoji paper screens, you can hear your neighbors, but they quieted down. In any case I brought earplugs and an eyemask to deal with any extra noise and light.

The toilets while in separate stalls with doors, the toilet room is communal, and unusual even for Japanese men and women share the same room, though basic privacy is provided by the doors and stalls. There is a separate washroom, also traditional. As far as the smell complained about by other reviewers, I noticed it slightly in the toilet room itself, but it was not that significant in my view.

There is a communal bath, here as normal for Japan, with a separate bath for men and women. Since I was with a Japanese person I could make sure I followed the proper etiquette.

Food is served either in your room or in a communal room, we had ours in our room. Breakfast and dinner was served. You need to be in your room at the appropriate time and the shukubo is not set up to adapt to your schedule or provide room service. I thought the shojin ryouri literally temple food, ie vegetarian, was quite good.

For me the highlight of staying at Muryokoin was attending the 6 am goma (fire ritual) service. Shingon services are very impressive and Muryokoin is unusual in having a daily goma. After the service the monks took us to a tea room and we had tea, cakes and discussion. Muryokoin is unusual in having foreign monks, including the famous, in Japan, Swiss monk Kurt Genzo. I also meet some interesting visitors, two women Zen monks from California and a women Shingon monk from Spain.

In addition, while in Koyasan I was privileged to be able to participate in the kechien kanjo tantric initiation as well as jukai, taking the precepts in the Shingon shu (sect).

So while I didn't have any problem with smells, I would agree with other reviewers that for a Westerner, and even for my Japanese guide/friend, Koyasan and Muryokoin was tiring and could be uncomfortable at times. But, by comparison to the American Zen monastery that I typically attend, a shukubo was fairly slack and not anywhere near as demanding. If I expected a hotel, however, I'm sure I would be as unhappy as the other reviewers, since I went on pilgrimage and was ready for the conditions, I found it to be a very significant and important experience.
Written October 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David M
Kyoto, Japan1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Solo
I had an amazing experience staying at Muryokoin in Koyasan. The temple itself is just beautiful, and my room was clean and very traditional which was a lot of fun. Being from Australia this was my first time sleeping in a traditional room with tatami mats, a very comfortable futon, painted screen walls and a kotatsu. In the morning myself and the rest of the overnight guests were invited to attend the 6am Buddhist morning ceremony. I had no idea what to expect, but the ceremony was just mesmerizing. I felt very privileged to be given an opportunity to witness the temple's monks perform their sutras, and afterwards we joined a few for a chat around fresh brewed tea and traditional biscuits. A German priest Shumizu-San kindly translated and spoke with me in English, as the other guests and priests spoke only Japanese. The presence of English language priests was definitely what led me to choose Muryokoin as my temple stay in Koyasan. Price was another factor, as many temples at Koyasan can cost up to Y13,000 per night. Muryokoin was very affordable, even with the add on of a traditional Buddhist breakfast. I didn't choose the dinner, but definitely will next time as the food was delicious.
Written March 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly L
Caloundra, Australia29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Solo
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay Muryokoin, and for me was a different way to unwind after a hectic few days. The monks were friendly and spoke adequate English. The website I booked this stay through, japaneseguesthouses.com, explained the do's and don'ts of Buddhist guesthouses, which was very helpful (otherwise I would have made a few faux passes). The vegetarian meals consisted of delicious hot and cold dishes and were filling. The 6-7:30am fire ceremony is DEFINITELY worth attending. The toilets are mixed gender though, including urinals (something I'm still getting used to). Bathrooms are gender separated but not private (ie similar style to onsens with a hot bath, which I didn't mind). The rooms a lovely, clean and comfortable, however if you are a light sleeper you may be woken by other guests or people walking around due to thin walls. Muryokoin is conveniently located within walking distance to multiple attractions in Koyasan. You can also leave your luggage there before and after your stay if you want to go away for a few hours. I don't know if this is the best Buddhist guesthouse but overall I thoroughly enjoyed my stay as I wanted to experience something different in a beautiful setting.
Written June 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maxandcalgo
Sydney, Australia6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
Having read other peoples reviews, I seriously wonder if we stayed at the same place. Yes, I know that there are levels of accommodation in Japan and yes, I know that temple stays are basic. However these people need to have a long slow meditation about whether running a place that charges money to stay is really their calling. There are Shukobos, dodgy Shukobos, and Muryoko-in.

Putting aside all the good experience stuff like monks and fire ceremonies, this place is scary bad. Examples? Lets not consider the blood stain on the futon sheet which, when pointed out to the young monk who was making up our bed, was shrugged off; or the fact that it was so cold in our room that my wife had to sleep with a beanie on, or the mould on the walls. No, the thing that has really annoyed us is that we (and the other foreigners) are paying full freight but have been shunted to what is clearly a monks dorm. We must walk about 200m to the toilet (including a section outside) and passed all the cosy, larger, equally priced rooms that all the Japanese guest are holed up in.

Never coming back and will be actively telling people not to come here.
Written April 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erni A
Kuala lumpur6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Couples
Felt like in the different era of Japan.... Really ancient. The view so good in autumn. Worth to visit
Written March 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anny933
Canberra, Australia1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Couples
In agreeance with some of the other reviewers here.

We expected that we would be easily woken due to the nature of the walls and prayer timing, so were not annoyed by this. We imagine it's similar to other temples in that case, and something to generally expect if staying at traditional Japanese accommodation.

The monks were quite friendly. And the fire ceremony in the morning was an experience. However the good points stop there.

As you arrive you'll be led down a noisy old hallway that stinks of urinals. The smell isn't left behind though. Half of the food was unpalatable due to the permeating smell.

Although the meals were well presented, it tasted simply awful. The food here was cold, including pre-cooked tempura which had become soggy. And that was one of the better (edible) parts of one of the meals we had here. The other palatable items were the plain rice and fresh fruit (half a piece each).

We have experienced excellent vegetarian Japanese food before, which has been nutritious and beautiful despite it being plain. There was not a bit of it found here at Muryokoin.

When we asked for a cup to drink our tea in, we were advised to use the rice bowl once we had finished... This, despite dinner being served in 13 individual receptacles?!

The linen was dirty. The floor mats had stains on them. No soap to wash hands with after going to the toilet. Overall not very clean at all.

Pick another temple to stay in, or skip Koyasan altogether...
Written June 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ale_Rn
Rimini, Italy75 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2011 • Business
I've been at Muryoko in for two nights. It was once-in-a-lifetime experience! We were there for a conference at Koyasan university and we spend two wonderful days with the monks. Our "room" was pretty, with a futon on the floor, table and tea-facilities. At 6 o'clock in the morning we attended the fire-cerimony with the monks, very impressive. Food is great, if you like vegan....but I don't! You have to share toilet (both japanese and western style); the japanese bath with the hot water tub is great!
Written November 4, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SanFranMan2000
San Francisco, CA196 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
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. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dooglebug
Napa, CA28 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013
We stayed at Muryokoin based on a recommendation from a Shikoku pilgrim who had visited there. While I am glad we visited, I wouldn't return.

Things that were good: Muryokoin is close to the bus stop so one need not walk too far. Moreover, Koyasan is about 5-10 degrees cooler than places of lower elevation so is a good summer escape. Tokyo was a little cooler this summer early in July, so it wasn't too much difference to us. It is a shukubo, so staying at one is a unique experience. However, if you have stayed at other shukubo, skip this one if you're doing it just for the experience.

The fire-burning ceremony is unique to the Shingon sect, and the monk Kurt Genso was very accommodating and friendly to explain about who Kobo Daishi is after the ceremony. After sitting in a smoke-filled room watching the backs of monks and listening to them chant for an hour and a half (6-7:30), he invited several people (mostly the foreigners) to his living room to talk and visit with him in English. While the ceremony is interesting, the meditation room became too smoky for my asthmatic friend, who wheezed for the rest of the day. I wish we could have seen what the monks were doing with the fire or had an explanation of the ceremony rather than simply sitting in a room that slowly filled with smoke and the chanting of the monks.

The parts that were negative: the young men working at the place always seemed in a hurry: running along the creaking corridors, almost colliding with guests. They seemed either shy or resentful about our being there. I am sure there was a lot to do, but they seemed to need to do it in double time and with little subtlety. The one who checked us in didn't speak English so he simply took us up and down corridors pointing at things we had to figure out.

Our futon covers were stained and the futon mattresses smelled mildewy. The shared toilets down the hall were pretty gross (the floor was wet and sticky) and going to them meant walking down the creaky hallway waking other people up. I didn't mind having bathrooms away from the rooms, but I felt bad creaking my way down the hall knowing I was likely waking someone up.

The hallway lights stay on all night, and since the doors are made of traditional paper, it streams in. I had an eye mask and earplugs from the airplane and made good use of those. I also found the closet where futon and bedding was stored and changed our bedding.

Hold on to your towels; they won't be changed overnight.

One postive: The vegetarian dinners were delicious and really filling. They were served at 6 pm each night. The first morning we stayed there, we were fed breakfast in a separate room with other foreign guests. The second morning, as we made our way to the breakfast room, we were briskly told our breakfast would be in our room. No idea why. Maybe group breakfasts are only served when other foreigners are there?

Anyway, I wouldn't recommend this place to people on a budget (this place was USD 100/night per person) or if they were picky in any way.
Written July 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arale
Vancouver, Canada511 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2010
We stayed there in this temple for New Years Eve. There were plenty of people and it had snowed quite hard the whole day so it was not as calm as I expected, but it was a good experience anyway. Their public bath is huge, the water was very hot and kept me warm for a long time, shame you can only use them in the evening. Meals were good, dinner was hearty, I couldn't even finish it! We attended the meditation in the morning. It's quite an experience, too long for my taste, too much incense also (I smelt like a church for the rest of the day, a shower would have been nice after the meditation ceremony), but interesting enough.
We booked this temple through the tourist association of Koyasan, and I do recommend both the temple and the association.
Written January 9, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Muryokoin, Koya-cho

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