Kumagaiji is a temple where you can stay. You sleep in a very spacious Ryokan-style room. Bathrooms and onsen are shared, but very clean. You share your dinner and breakfast with the rest of the tourists, eating the typical (vegetarian) meals that the monks eat. You can also attend the religious ceremony they do early in the morning (6am).
The temple is next to the cemetery (a must-see!) And as it is a small town you can walk everywhere.
I was hoping it would be a less "touristy" mink. It is not so much a temple where tourists are integrated with the monks, it is a temple turned into a tourist hotel. You eat in a dining room where there are only tourists. Religious activity is aimed at the tourists.
A must do experience and overnight trip if staying in Osaka or Kyoto. Our room was in the temple, which opened out with a view of the garden. We booked a family room with some extra space but could probably get by without the extra space even with luggage. Upon our arrival, the monk who greeted us served us tea at the table while walking us through information for our stay. The food, while strictly vegetarian, was quite tasty and filling. The morning prayer service and fire ceremony was an incredible cultural experience and provided a glimpse into the life of a Buddhist monk. Right next to the bus stop. Overall excellent place to stay in Koyasan.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. The staff was very friendly and helpful and spoke adequate English. The room was very comfortable. The location was perfect to explore town and is right across from Okunoin Cemetery. The morning prayers and fire ceremony are not to be missed. We definitely recommend this property.
We stayed in the luxurious room for 3 nights. Although it was not cheap yet we thought we made a right choice. It is located on the first floor away from the other rooms. There are only 3 rooms on that floor so that we do not have to share the toilets with so many people. The rooms are huge.
We were at first sceptical about the heating and thin divider. It was not the case in those rooms. We did not hear a sound and there are 2 heaters and a heated blanket for your feet under the table. It is very warm.
There are 2 beautiful pearl inlaid chairs and a table by the window in a separate section. The view is beautiful. Our room is also very beautiful and authentic. We are extremely delighted. However, when I walked around, I did see some rooms not so desirable.
There are a few young monks who speak English and we think that is good enough. It is quite common that a lot of people do not speak English in Japan. The vegetation dishes are great and the tofu is absolutely delicious. We are all seated in a beautiful communal dining place and the staff take time to explain the dishes and give us each a present to bring home.
The location of the lodging is also good and is only 3 minutes away from the famous cemetery. The cemetery walk is the highlight and is a must do. There are a nice and reasonable priced restaurant nearby on the opposite road for lunch. If you walk 10 minutes, you will see more restaurants and shops.
The communal hall is not heated and I can understand that why some people said it is very cold in certain season.
We did attend the chanting and fire ritual. They are very spiritual. We have a great experience and we love Koyasan and our room.
What an experience! From the friendly monk who will greet you and show you to your room while you drink tea to the delicious dinner and onsen, this place was such a special stay for me. I loved being able to experience authentic Japanese ryokan style stay while also getting a spiritual experience at the temple. Make sure to try the onsen and be open-minded about the vegan feast - it’s amaizng!
Note that this temple is not heated except a few space heaters - it can get very cold, especially at night and in the morning. Prepare accordingly and dress warmly for the morning ceremony.