Koyasan or Mt. Koya is a well-known sacred site of esoteric Buddhism situated about 800m above sea level on a secluded mountain top in the northern Wakayama prefecture in Japan. Since its foundation in 816 by monk Kukai, more commonly known as Kobo Daishi, Koyasan has been the sacred place for study and ascetic practices of esoteric Buddhism by monks and also the most popular destination for milloins of pilgrims since ancient times. The Shikoku Pilgrimage to 88 temples is a popular pilgrimage attributed to Kukai (Kobo Daishi). It is customary that pilgrims come to Koyasan to pay respects with gratitude to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi after completing their visits to 88 temples in Shikoku. Nowadays, Koyasan attracts a number of tourists from all over the world every year for its uniqueness of long history, location and atmosphere.
Geographically speaking, Koyasan is roughly divided into two parts, Danjo Garan and Okuno-in. The western part, Danjo Garan, is the first place where Kobo Daishi erected a temple atop Koyasan and now consists of historically important buildings and pagodas constructed by his disciples thereafter. In the central part of Koyasan stands Kongobuji Temple, the headquarters of Koyasan Shingon esoteric Buddhism. The eastern part, Okunoin, is the largest cemetery in Japan where more than 200,000 gravestones and monuments for people of all classes stand along the 2-km path among centuries-old soaring huge cedar trees.