Kongōbuji Temple is home to Japan’s largest rock garden, which spans 2,340 square metres and contains 140 granite stones arranged to resemble a pair of dragons emerging from a sea of clouds to protect Okuden. The stones were brought from Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, and the white sand is from Kyoto.
Other points of particular interest within the temple include Shibetsuden, a large annex which was constructed in 1984 to accommodate visitors gathering for the 1150th anniversary of Kōbō Daishi’s entrance into eternal meditation, and Ohiroma, where important rituals and religious ceremonies are held.
The sliding doors within the temple are exquisitely painted with flowers and birds, as well as scenes showing Kōbō Daishi’s sojourn in Tang Dynasty China and his founding of Kōyasan.
The Willow Room, where Toyotomi Hidetsugu committed ritual suicide, is decorated with paintings by Kano Tansai of willow trees in the four seasons, while walls in other rooms are covered with gold leaf.
Visitors to the temple are invited to enjoy a cup of tea and Japanese biscuit in a large tatami hall before visiting the temple’s huge kitchen. The hearth and stoves are big enough to feed 2,000 people.
- Koyasan and Kumano Access Bus
- UNESCO World Heritage Koyasan Leaflet in English
- Koyasan Reihokan Museum Leaflet in English
- Dai Garan Kongobuki Koyasan leaflet
- Kongobuji Temple Leaflet
- Guide to Koyasan
- Kōyasan – the 1200th Anniversary Since The Foundation