A stay in any one of 50 host "shukubo" temples in Koyasan includes a vegetarian dinner and breakfast. And many restaurants in town offer a shukubo meal as well. Price: Inexpensive more-less


First Review by backpasher
Meggie and Ben
Meggie and Ben
  • vegan

Ekoin was perfect!

5 Posted on 04 / 24 / 2014

My husband and I stayed at Ekoin and it was fantastic! Beautiful, big rooms with comfortable futons, indoor onsens, and fantastic shōjin ryōri for dinner and breakfast. We highly recommend it! Lodging and meals was about $130 a night for two people and there was plenty of food. If you want to experience a Buddhist monastery in Koyasan this is the place to be, vegan or not! We especially loved their night tour of the cemetery!


Pros: Great vegan shōjin ryōri, Nice indoor onsen, Big rooms with comfortable futons
  • vegetarian

information about temples

4 Posted on 10 / 25 / 2013

A typical stay in a temple at Mount Koya will cost you a little more than $100, which is very typical for any traditional Japanese establishment. You must make your reservation at least one week in advance, or longer if you plan on going during a busy season. Breakfast, generally at 7:00 a.m, and dinner (time varies by temple) are always included. Lunch will be extra, and you will have to reserve it in advance, but if your temple is on the main street in Mount Koya, I recommend it.

There is a list of temples that offer lodging here: http://eng.shukubo.net/

A few words about what to expect: Just like any ryokan, a stay at a temple is very regimented. Dinner will be served at a specific time and only that time. Don't miss it-- it will be delicious vegan food prepared under the strictest auspices of the Buddhist monks, and its cost is a large part of your stay. Don't miss the service before, either. Also, you probably can bathe at only a certain time, probably after dinner: respect that. You will stay in a traditional Japanese room, with straw tatami mats and beautifully painted sliding doors. (There are no doors with locks, but most of them do have safes for your valuables.) As the walls between the guest rooms are paper sliding doors, there is little privacy; expect that. Breakfast, like dinner, is served at a certain time, and it will be prepared for you; you are expected to show up when it is served. I recommend the service before as well.

The food varies tremendously between temples, but it generally includes goma dofu, which is a tofu-like melt-in-your-mouth puddingish confection made from starch and tahini, plus tempura, rice, pickles, and tea.

  • vegetarian

Wonderful Experience!

5 Posted on 04 / 28 / 2013

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, 2012

Pros: All included and safe to eat for veggies, Marvellous atmosphere, Yummy food
Cons: Small breakfast portions


  • vegetarian

Rengejo-in temple

5 Posted on 07 / 17 / 2009

We stayed at Rengejo-in temple last year. The temple itself is lovely, and the staff are very friendly. Rooms are very pleasant as is the onsen.

We had dinner and breakfast here. The food was delightfully presented and delicious and portions were huge.

I think it cost around ¥9000 yen for the night including accommodation and meals.


Pros: Lovely atmosphere, Delicious meals, Unique experience
Cons: none


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Last updated: 2012/02/02


Added: 2009/07/07


Added by: Guest