Others Japan > ishikawa > kanazawa

Staying Overnight in Tentokuin Monastery in Wakayama Prefecture’s Sacred Mountain Koyasan!

Cocoa
Published Feb 24, 2016

The sacred mountain Koyasan has 117 temples and at least half of them offer the experience of staying overnight. In this article I will tell you about my first experience in staying in a monastery and eating the vegetarian Buddhist monk food for breakfast. I stayed in Tentokuin Monastery, known for its long history.

Tentokuin Monastery has connections with the Tokugawa clan

Cba90994896947119965d6348c5d1d22 l

Tentokuin Monastery is located just across Koyasan’s main temple Kongobuji. It became a family temple of the Tokugawa clan, after the death of Tokugawa Hidetada’s second daughter Tama-hime. In this monastery Keishoin, the mother of shogun Tsunayoshi, enshrined the mortuary tablets of the famous 47 ronin warriors. You can sense the historicity of this place even from outside.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kanazawa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kanazawa

From inside the monastery you can see the green garden

At the entrance you’ll be welcomed by the mascot character “Koya-kun”. Then you continue along a long and pretty corridor. On the right side is the study room, while on the left side is the garden around the main temple. At the end of the corridor is another garden. 


Staying overnight in this monastery guarantees that you will relax completely. The monks will take you to your room where you’ll find the futon neatly prepared. There is no lock, but there is a TV and a tea with sweets waiting for you on the table. You’ll feel like in a traditional Japanese ryokan inn.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kanazawa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kanazawa

Staying in this monastery is surprisingly comfortable

Many female travelers are concerned about the toilets and the bath in accommodation facilities. I expected a typical Japanese style toilet, but it was Western style, complete with the bidet seat. There are 3 different and very clean baths. The available amenities are shampoo, yukata (light kimono), a toothbrush set and face towels. You can buy a bath towel for 150 JPY.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kanazawa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kanazawa

The vegetarian Buddhist monk food is quite healthy

This meal has plenty of little items. It includes a variety of seasonal vegetables, grains, pulse seeds, dried food and seaweed. There’s no meat or fish. In fact, cooking this vegetarian menu is also part of the Buddhist monks’ practice. Everything is served just the way monks eat it, and includes also local specialties such as tofu with sesame seasoning, black beans and fried food. You’ll be surprised by how delicious the food is.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kanazawa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kanazawa

The splendid garden of Tentokuin Monastery

This beautiful garden spreading over 1660 square meters was originally created as a place to enshrine Tama-hime’s grave. Now it’s the only garden in Koyasan designated as an important cultural property. Therefore walking in the garden is unfortunately not allowed, but you can see it from many of the rooms and the study.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in kanazawa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in kanazawa



The day in the monastery begins very early in the morning

As the start begin chirping in the peaceful morning the monks begin their religious rituals in which the guests are free to participate. You can read sutras for about 30 minutes and pray for your deceased ancestors. The monastery is a spiritual place where you can be closer to the gods. If you stay overnight in this monastery you will feel completely refreshed in your heart.

Koyasan Tentokuin Monastery Address: Wakayama prefecture, Ito-gun Koya-cho, Koyasan 370 Telephone: 0736-56-2714

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Cba90994896947119965d6348c5d1d22 l
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Top 3 activities to book in kanazawa

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
Good things are meant to be shared!