Koyasan (Mount Koya) is the heart and soul of Wakayama Prefecture. Koyasan is the birthplace of Shingon Buddhism, founded by Kobo Daishi (Kukai) in the year 885. The mountain is a spiritual place with over 100 temples that line the streets and surrounding areas. You can stay overnight in a temple here and experience the serenity of this profound site. In addition to its Zen history Wakayama Prefecture, just south of Osaka, is the home of the Shirahama area. Shirahama boasts a huge beach and hot spring resort, amusement parks, hiking, and a rugged coastline with interesting rock formations and small​ islands dotting the horizon.
Recommended Sights
Recommended Hotels

Koyasan: A Modern-Day Pilgrimage

As my train pulls out of Hashimoto, Kansai’s urban sprawl gives way to the vibrant green of rice paddy, then to mountain woodland as the train climbs, the station signs marking the steady gain in altitude. I am leaving the world behind and ascending to the hom