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Mount Koya in Japan


Koya-san, Japan

Koya-san, Japan

Mount Kōya (Kōya-san) is the name of mountains in Wakayama prefecture to the south of Osaka.  There is no one mountain officially called Kōya-san in Japan.

First settled in 819 by the monk Kukai, Mt. Koya is primarily known as the world headquarters of the Koyasan Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism.  Located in an 800 m high valley amid the eight peaks of the mountain (which was the reason this location was selected, in that the terrain is supposed to resemble a lotus plant), the original monastery has grown into the town of Koya, featuring a university dedicated to religious studies and 120 temples, many of which offer lodging to pilgrims.

adapted from

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