UPDATE: I recently went back to Koyasan in March 2013, and stayed in Eko-in. The food was amazing, and served to me in my room. The rooms were much nicer than my stay at Shojoshin-in, and there were three price points, which reflected the food. I went for the middle option (Y12,000) and was given so much! Dinner was served after we did meditation and I could also do the heart sutra in my room for free. Breakfast was there waiting after morning ceremonies and I loved it.
I stayed at Shojoshin-in in October 2011. The accomodation was right next to Okunoin, for reference. We arrived in the afternoon after a long trek from Kyoto and appreciated the cool and fresh air up in the mountains. Our room was lovely and we had tea and cake on arrival. You are provided with yukata to wear for the stay, and most guests wore these for the dinner.
Dinner was served in a large room, with beautiful screens between guests. There were only 10 or so guests when we were there. The food was bought out to us. All vegetarian, all delicious. Unlike at other shojin-ryori restaurants, where all the food is bought in courses, here it is all at once. The sesame tofu (goma dofu) was heavenly as was local speciality koya dofu (marvellous texture and in a beautiful sauce). Also for dinner was tempura vegetables, black beans, pickles, edamame, rice, soup and apple and orange wedges for afters.
Breakfast was served after morning chanting at 6am. This was miso, natto, spinach salad, rice, nori and a tofu based cake in a stock. All was delicious, but very small portion and we were starving by lunch time!
A wonderful experience and to know all the food was ok to eat was great. I'd recommend this as a side trip from Osaka, Kobe or Kyoto as a retreat. We only stayed one night, but next time I'd like to stay longer and sample more of the local shojin ryori food in the town
Updated from previous review on Friday June 01, 2012Pros: All included and safe to eat for veggies, Marvellous atmosphere, Yummy food
Cons: Small breakfast portions