Far from being a typical hotel experience, the Eko-in offers a truly immersive stay in a working Buddhist temple in a stunning mountaintop location. There are approximately 50 Shukubo (temple lodgings) atop Mount Koya, the ancestral home of Shingon Buddhism, and the Eko-in is a stalwart temple to stay at. It isn’t for everybody, but offers a truly different experience for those willing to let go of a few preconceptions.
Accommodation is modest but nonetheless beautiful. The muted rooms have large windows that look out into the gardens; sliding paper screens shield the interiors. Enjoy delicious Buddhist vegetarian meals in the privacy of your room, served by friendly monks from the temple’s kitchen. Attend services and rituals, participate in meditation at the temple, learn to write Buddhist sutras, and head off hiking in the hills.
On peaceful mountaintop, surrounded by woods, a Buddhist sect has created a small town of temples and this pilgrim’s lodge. Reached by a vertiginous funicular railway ride after a rail journey from Osaka.
Reflective meditation sessions
Vegetarian Buddhist meals.
Traditional tatami rooms
Separated hot springs
Not a typical hotel experience - this is a truly immersive stay, in a working Buddhist temple, in a stunning mountaintop location.
Discover what to expect from staying at Eko-in
As you would expect in a monastery, there’s a focus on self reflection and peacefulness. Japan has a reputation as a practical country, and the country’s modern interpretation of Buddhism reflects that.
Spending a night or so within the temple walls is an immersive experience which allows you to step away from your everyday expectations, and step into the very different rhythms of monastic life. Go with the flow as you learn about the routines and tasks of temple life, sharing meals with the monks and meditating together.
Wander along the ancient trails of Kumano Kodo and its spiritual shrines, enjoying the peaceful, and enchanting surroundings as well as taking in the hospitality of local families along the way.