It’s hard to review a temple lodging, since unsurprisingly I have nothing to compare it to, and your experience is likely to depend to a large extent on your expectations. We went in intrigued, open-minded, not expecting anything particularly life-changing, and were glad we stayed for a night.
The monks were polite and helpful, to the extent that they could be. For example, it was a shame that the meditation session on our visit couldn’t be translated into English, but from what I could gather that depends on the availability of an English speaking monk.
The room was lovely, looking out on the delightful gardens. Having our meals in here was a peaceful delight. The food itself was good but not outstanding, and the cheapest (and therefore smallest) meal option was perfectly sufficient.
The morning prayers and fire ceremony were interesting, but we’ll probably remember the experience more for the peace and quiet of the place after the daytrippers left town, either in our room or wandering around town.
It wasn’t all serene though: the atmosphere of the communal areas was more like a youth hostel than a sacred site, but that may just have been down to the guests on the night we stayed. It’s not a negative particularly, just don’t expect wall to wall reverence.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 【History of Ekoin】A 1000 year-old Buddhist temple, Shukubo Koya-san Eko-in offers Japanese-style accommodation, a beautiful garden, and free Wi-Fi. Guests are free to attend Buddhist morning services, the Goma fire ritual and meditation.【Rooms&Facilities】Rooms feature tatami-mat floors, traditional futon beds and paper sliding screens. They are fitted with an LCD TV and a safe. Bathroom facilities are shared, and the public baths are open only from 4 pm-10 pm daily.【Meals】Meals are served at the guest room at scheduled times and feature Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. Groups of more than 4 people dine at the Japanese-style dining room, where chairs can be provided upon advance request.【Surroundings】Shukubo Temple is close to other ancient Buddhist buildings such as Kongobu-ji Temple, which is a 10 minute walk. The Ichi-no-Hashi entrance to the ancient Okuno-In Temple is a 3 minute walk away.*Guests can experience group meditation, and they can write Buddhist texts with a brush and ink on scrolls at their room. They can also go hiking in the scenic surroundings of Koya-san Eko-in. The temple has a lounge with a computer corner. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ekoin Temple Hotel Koya-Cho