Complete guide to the highlights of Koyasan Kongo Sanmaiin
English | Japanese
Kongosanmai-in was founded by Hojo Masako to mourn the passing of Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate. Later, in order to mourn the third shogun, Minamoto no Sanetomo, various structures such as the Tahoto were built, and the name was changed to the current Kongosanmai-in. Valuable structures and Buddha statues from the early Kamakura period, such as the national treasure Tahoto and the important cultural property Kyozo, remain from the time of its original construction. In this article, we will explain the attractions of Koyasan Kongo Sanmaiin in Wakayama Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.
For a comprehensive overview of the entire Koyasan, please refer to 「Highlights and access methods of Koyasan (Wakayama Prefecture)」.
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Table of contents
The Tahoto Pagoda was erected in 1223 and has been designated as a National Treasure. It is the oldest structure on Koyasan, and the second oldest of its kind in Japan. Inside, it houses an Important Cultural Property, the Gochi-Nyoraizou, which is said to have been created by Unkei (interior is usually not open to the public).
The scripture repository, built to store sutras and other texts, was erected in the same year as the Tahoto Pagoda and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. It is constructed in the "azekura-zukuri" style, the same as Nara's Todai-ji's Shoso-in, which is one of its distinctive features. Inside, it houses 500 printing blocks known as "Koya-ban" for scriptures and documents, as well as Important Cultural Properties such as the painting of Aizen Myo-o and the painting of Shaka Nehan.
The oldest rhododendron is said to be 450 years old, and you can see the pink flowers blooming around early May. It is designated as a natural monument of Wakayama Prefecture.
It is a large cedar tree that is said to be 400 years old. There are three at the base, but the upper part is divided into six. It is also called Tengusugi because the Tengu, the guardian deity, once swooped down on this cedar.
Kongobuji Sanmai-in, as a sub-temple of the head temple Kongobuji, was the only one registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Additionally, Kongo Sanmai-in is available for lodging, and guests can participate in early morning services and experience activities such as sutra copying and meditation on the letter "A" (ajikan).
Please see below for a list of photos related to Koyasan Kongo Sanmaiin.
Address of Koyasan Kongo Sanmaiin
The address of Koyasan Kongo Sanmaiin is "425 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama Prefecture".
Access method of Koyasan Kongo Sanmaiin
I will explain how to get to Koyasan Kongo Sanmaiin from Shin-Osaka Station.
OsakaMetro Midosuji Line
Nankai Electric Railway Koya Line
Nankai Electric Railway Koyasan Cable Car
Nankai Rinkai Bus
Official site about Koyasan Kongo Sanmaiin :
Thank you for reading to the end.
( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )