Kongō Sanmai-in Buddhist temple at Kōya-san.

Kongō Sanmai-in at Kōya-san

Kongō Sanmai-in

Kōya-san has always welcomed pilgrims. They have stayed at the temples, attending services and eating meals with the monks. The town opened up to tourism in the mid-twentieth century. Many temples became shukubō, taking in guests who were necessarily pilgrims. Breakfast and an evening meal are served, and guests are encouraged but not required to attend services. Some of the shukubō temples offer introductory courses in Buddhism, yoga, and meditation. Kongō Sanmai-in is one of the shukubō. From the fire station, cross the main road and continue uphill to the south.

Garden and entrance gate to Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.
Main courtyard at Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.

The main Shikoku temple hall was built in 1552. Other components were built through the years of the Edo period. The monastery ran a children's hospital for a while.

Take off your shoes before stepping onto a wooden surface at a temple.

Cabinet to store shoes at Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.
Garden and fish pond at Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.
Buddhist altar at Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.
Buddhist temple at Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.
Shintō shrine on the hill above Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.

The 15-meter tall Tahōtō pagoda was built of hinoki or Japanese cypress in 1223. The wife of the first Kamakura Shōgun built it as a monument to her son, who had been assassinated.

It's unusual for having two levels. Most pagodas have an odd number of levels. This specific design became unpopular after the Heian Period of 794-1185.

Moss-covered temple roof at Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.
Tahōtō pagoda at Kongō Sanmai-in in Kōya-san.

Other topics in Japan:

Prehistoric Yamato
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Fodors Japan
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Kansai region, central Honshū — Kyōto, Nara, Kōya-san, Ise, and Ōsaka
Inland Sea — Takamatsu, Naoshima and the art islands, Hiroshima
Kyūshū — Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Sakurajima, Oita, Mount Aso
Tōhoku region, northern Honshū — Nikkō, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Mount Bandai, Yamadera, Mount Haguro
Kantō region — Tōkyō and nearby
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