Benten-dake (Mt. Benten 984m)

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.