In the morning, meet your guide at the designated point in Osaka, then relax on the scenic journey to Mt Koya (Koyasan). Mt Koya serves as the spiritual center for the Shingon sect of Buddhism, which Kobo Daishi established in the 9th century in Japan.
Start out from Osaka with a 1.5-hour train ride aboard the Nankai Limited Express train. At Gokurakubashi station, your guide takes you on a short cable car ride up the forested mountain. The sacred mountain stands 2,953 feet (900 meters) high with more than 100 Buddhist temples sprinkled on its slopes. From the cable car, a 10-minute bus ride brings you to Ichinohashi Tourist Center where you enjoy a Japanese-style vegetarian lunch.
After your meal, walk into Okunion, Japan's largest cemetery. Nestled among towering cedar trees, Okunoin houses the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, considered sacred to Daishi devotees. A 1.5-mile (2-km) cobblestone path lined with more than 200,000 memorials and monuments leads you to the revered burial site of Daishi. Admire Torodo Hall, where thousands of lanterns illuminate the ancient building.
Spend approximately one hour at Okunion, then take a local bus to World Heritage-listed Danjo Garan, which was constructed when Mt Koya was founded. The Buddhist complex contains 20 temples, pagodas and stupas, and your guide takes you to the most prominent structures. See the majestic 160-foot-tall (49-meter) Great Stupa and go inside the Kondo (main hall). Marvel at the elaborate Konpon Daito, a bright red two-tiered pagoda that enshrines the Cosmic Buddha, and an intricate three-dimensional mandala.
Have more than one hour to tour Garan with your guide, then return to Osaka's Nankai Namba station via bus, cable car and train. Your tour ends upon your arrival in the early evening.
Please note: A minimum of 2 people per booking is required.