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All reviews morning ceremony unique experience koya san vegetarian food private residence private room own bathroom chanting monks japanese garden walls are paper thin green tea garden view prayer service shojin ryori morning service stayed one night japanese guest houses
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Reviewed April 23, 2017

Koyasan in a pilgrimage town on a mountain top not far from Osaka. Many visitors stay in temples. We did, and we loved the experience. It was more comfortable than I was expecting, given that it's a temple run by monks.
We had a lovely spacious Japanese-style room, with comfortable futons. However: the bathroom facilities are shared, the walls are paper-thin (you can hear your neighbours and people talking in the hallway) and some rooms do not have locks. I(We had a safe in our room).
That said, we loved being able to watch the monks pray in the morning, the vegetarian meal was tasty (though sitting on the floor to eat it was not easy), and overall the setting was peaceful.
This particular temple is very well located in Koyasan, near the cemetery and the walkway that leads up to the main shrine.

Room Tip: Ask whether your room locks, and consider the distance from the shared bathrooms.
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank danieldD3142KK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 19, 2017

I dreamed of going to Japan ever since I studied it in seventh grade. My dream was filled with tea ceremonies, japanese food, rock gardens, and temples. So for me, the stay in Koyasan, and particularly at the Shojoshin-in temple, was a dream come true! Let me start with the food - my meal-loving husband thought our vegetarian dinner was one of the best meals we had in Japan. I loved sleeping in the room on the floor - surprisingly comfy and warm. They were great with our 6-month son. I was surprised that there were TVs in the room, but happy that there were heaters (we were there in December and it was cold). I loved going to the ceremony in the morning (no one was there to direct or explain, so I wandered around - sit behind the individuals doing the ceremony, on the benches), and I loved the close proximity to the cemetery for an evening stroll. And the hot bath - AMAZING. It was really, really hot - hard for me for too long, but my husband just loved it. ENJOY!

  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
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6  Thank Evie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 6, 2017

We had a good time at the temple.
Our room was spacious and typically Japanese with a main sleeping area and a small sunroom overlooking the pond. I found the futon a bit slim but my husband was fine with it. The ryokan is really atmospheric. The monks were pleasant but very discreet and kept interaction quite limited.

The food was really good and even my meat loving husband enjoyed the beautiful vegetarian dinner and breakfast we were served in a private dining room.

Both our room and the dining room had good heaters but the common areas were cold (it snowed when we visited). We didn't find it an issue. We didn't try the public bath but they have two private baths (one for women, one for men). The private bath is super hot and deep. The perfect way to finish a cold and wet day!

There is no curfew so you are free to go out and explore Okunoin cemetery at night. We enjoyed the meditation in the morning but got quite cold. Make sure to rug up.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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2  Thank Margouille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 23, 2017

I always wanted to stay at a ryokan, mixing that with a buddhist temple it creates ultimate cultural experience of Japan. Everything was perfect, the room was amazing, the temple very clean, the monks were nice and helpful, just the food was a bit weird but as you know, in Rome be Roman. Early in the morning you must join in the prayers and meditate and at night before going to bed a good onsen bath is what you need after the wave of cultural excitement you get at Koya-san

  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank Belela25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 28, 2017 via mobile

We stayed here last night. Very cold in Koyasan at this time of year, and given that we were staying at a temple (and they modestly say on their website not to expect the same level of service as at an onsen or hotel), we were delighted to find that this was such a fantastic experience.
We were warmly greeted at the entrance, having travelled by train, bus and cable car from Osaka. The room allocated was huge by traditional ryokan standards, with a lovely large bedroom and also a lounge area with big windows looking out into a snow covered inner courtyard and koi pond. Beautiful!
The rooms were well-heated and full of home comforts.
Dinner was amazing! A full kaseiki banquet - vegetable only, but it was such an incredible array of local produce prepared in so many ways! We were honored to be presented with such a feast, and it more than filled us up. We had beer with our meal too, no problem.
Had a bath in the onsen after dinner, which capped off the lovely meal. There are dedicated baths for men and women - lovely and deep, lockable doors - so great in the freezing cold.
In the morning, you are invited to watch the monks start the day with prayers - an early start at 6.30 so not for everybody! - which we were glad to witness.
After watching the prayers it was another lovely meal for breakfast, then check out. This temple is right next to the famous 2km walk through the massive graveyard in Koyasan and I have to recommend doing this early - 8am - it's magical, especially if there's been a snowfall and the sun is shining.
I felt very well looked after by the monks at Shojishin-in, and would highly recommend staying here if you are after a uniquely Japanese experience.

Stayed: January 2017, travelled as a couple
7  Thank emmajane20152015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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