A designated National Treasure and the oldest building nestled in Koyasan, Kongobuji Temple is more than just another place of spiritual worship. The temple is the headquarters of the Buddhist sect known as Shingon, founded by the monk, Kobo Daishi, whose mausoleum can be found at nearby Okunoin Temple.
The Nankai Rinkan Bus from Koyasan Station will take you to the temple. Get off at Kongobuji-mae.
Koyasan Station can be reached from Gokurakubashi Station on the Nankai Koya Line via the cable car.
The temple's history dates back to 816 and has undergone a number of renovations due to complete destructions throughout history. While it is architecturally satisfying from the outside, take off your shoes and step through the doors and you'll be rewarded by Kongobuji Temple's beautiful interior.
Enter the corridors through gilded golden doors and pass through rooms decorated with graceful cranes, elaborately carved flowers, and sweeping plum and willow. Visitors can also enter the large kitchen with its huge hearth and stoves and take a glimpse at the immaculately preserved Banryutei Rock Garden at the back of the temple.
A small fee is required to enter the temple. It is possible to buy a combination ticket that allows access to all of Koyasan's major attractions. The Koyasan Tourist Information Center offers English audio guide rentals.