Koyasan or Mt. Koya is a well-known sacred site of esoteric Buddhism in Japan situated about 900 m above sea level on a secluded mountain top in the northern Wakayama pref. Koyasan has been the heart of Koyasan Shingon sect of Buddhism over 1,200 years. Since its foundation in 816 by monk Kukai, more commonly known as Kobo Daishi, Koyasan has been the sacred place for ascetic practices of esoteric Buddhism by monks and it has been the destination of millions of pilgrims and nowadays tourists as well because of its uniqueness of long history, location and atmosphere. Geographically, Koyasan is roughly divided into two western and eastern parts, Danjo Garan (a complex of temples and pagodas) and Okuno-in (the largest cemetery in Japan including the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi). Walking from Ichinohashi to Gobyo (Kobo Daishi’s mausoleum) along more than 200,000 gravestones and memorial pagodas among huge centuries-old cedar trees will assure you of an unforgettable experience.
Located in the southern part of Kansai region, Wakayama City is easily accessible for foreign tourists, only 40 minutes by train or bus from Kansai International Airport, and also about one hour by train from Osaka. The city is blessed with beautiful sceneries of seashores and also historically interesting sightseeing spots since the ancient times. Strolling around the castle town and historical areas and experiencing the life of the people will give you an unforgettable memory of your travel.
Yuasa is located about 40 minutes by local train from Wakayama city. It is famous for the birthplace of soy sauce, one of the key elements of Japanese dishes. Yuasa town flourishes from the 17th century to 19th century due to say sauce production, and the old townscapes have been well preserved until today. The townscapes are designated as the Important Preservation District for Group of Traditional Buildings (Judenken). Strolling around Yuasa town is something like adventure going back to old time and also discovering the power of regeneration. It is about a 15 minute walk from JR Yuasa station to the Preservation District. Along the way, you will pass Kumano Pilgrimage Route (in Domachi Dori). Yuasa has a rich history and tradition.