Benten-dake (Mt. Benten 984m)hiking /弁天岳ハイキング

Since the death of Kobo Daishi, an increasing number of people came to worship Kobo Daishi as the Koya Jodo faith grew. There are main seven roads to Koyasan called “Koya Nanakuchi” which were traveled by the pilgrims. But women were prohibited to enter  Koyasan until the beginning of the Meiji era(until 1906). Therefore, “Nyonindo” was built at each entrance to Koyasan as staying halls for women.  Women devotees are said to have visited each “Nyonindo” around the Hachiyorenge peaks to worship the Kobo Daishi Gobyo (Mausoleum). Currently, a Nyonindo remains only at Fudozagaguchi, and only ruins of the other Nyonindo remain at the other entrances. Women Pilgrimage route is the path to trace these seven “Nyonindos” around Koyasan. Think of the old days and feel the history of Koyasan in the abundant nature.

A rather steep hill path stretches from Nyonindo to Daimon. This is the first part of Nyonin-michi (Women’s pilgrimage path). At the top of the hill, there is a small shrine dedicated to the deity Benten. From Daimon side, the hill path passes through the line of red Torii archways and the Great Pagoda is visible at about half-way. Today I walked from Daimon Gate to Nyonindo because this opposite route is rather gentle. Let’s trace the path I took.


Start point at Daimon Gae
You can see the line of red torii archways.
Follow the natural path.
You can view the foot of the mountain, the town of Katusragi -cho.
Another red torii and sigh post of Nyonin-michi telling you there used to be Daimon-guchi Nyonindo ruin.
Let’s have a short rest after 15 minute walk.
You see Jizo enshrined.
You see the panoramic view toward Hashimoto city.
You see the Danjo Garan area between the trees.
Focus on Kompon Daito (Great Pagoda). Here is one of the high lights on this route. You will feel how women those days felt when they saw the Kompon Daito.
Benten shrine is just after the red torii.
The shrine where the deity Benten enshrined. Here is the hight light point on this route.
The root path follows.
Steep downhill continues. You have to be careful not to fall down.
Steel and very narrow path continues. Be careful not to slip down. Slowly and carefully!!!
After 1 hour walking, you will reach Nyonindo, which is the only remains left to this day.
Here is the one of the entrance to Koyasan standing next to Nyonindo.