Nankai Railway from Nankai Namba Station.
I hr 32 min by Ltd Exp "Koya" direct (needs reservation); about 2 hours by other options (Rapid - direct; Ltd Exp "Rinkan" with change at Hashimoto).
Koya departures (weekday): 09:15, 10:00，11:00, 13:34, 16:00
Koya departures (Sun/Sat): 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:12, 13:00, 15:00
Yes, it good time to visit in August, since it's a little cooler in the hills and the woods.
Last train http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=KOYASAN&arv_node=NAMBA(NANKAI)&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2013&month=05&day=18&hour=02&minute=16&search_type=1&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=1&ship=off&jr=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7
May I know how far is Mt Koya from the train station? Do we need a guide or we can do it ourselves with maps:) ? And is half a day enough? What is a "must" there? Are there any restaurants on the mountain?
You certainly do not need a guide. When you arrive at the train station, you ride up a cable car. From there a bus brings you the rest of the way.
There are restaurants in the small town, but never ate at any, so cannot recommend one.
Musts are different for different people, but this gives an idea
Thanks MapleG, very helpful info!
Just wondering, has anyone tried the 1 day tour to Koya booked thru Japanican.com (it cost 22,000 yen)?
Any feed back?
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Koyasan last month. The town is small enough to be able to walk from one end to the other though it is uphill (though not too steep) heading from the city centre towards the Daimon gate (the entry to one end of the town) You can also catch a bus there from the station and then walk back downhill stopping in at other "must sees"along the way. I would recommend the Garan temple complex (a number of buildings spread out in a natural treed setting) the Kongobuji temple near the centre of (worthwhile paying to go in and see the beautiful paintings, rock garden and original cooking hall) and the cemetery at the opposite end of town. As you walk from the centre of town towards the cemetery you will pass lots of smaller temples. The path through the cemetery begins at the Ichinohasi bus stop, next to Shojosin temple. It is a 1.9 km path winding through tall cedar trees, full of huge stone stupas, many moss-covered and crumbling with age.The path ends at a beautiful temple. Very atmospheric!
Check the bus timetables at the start of the day as we found that the buses were not that frequent (which was why we ended up walking the whole way through the town!).
We bought the Koyasan World Heritage Ticket (2780 yen) at Nankai Namba station which included train, buses and entry into a couple of temples . Details at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2358_012.html
Forgot to say that we had intended to take the Ltd express but were not prepared to wait around for the next train. The transfer at Hashimoto was just to the other side of the platform where the Koyasan train was waiting (same on return) From there the last 15 mins of the trip to Gokurakubashi stn (start of tramway) was through picturesue mountain valleys. At the top of the tramway buses are waiting as they are timetabled to connect with the trains.
Thanks so much newby50!!!!
I've copied down what you did, might just traced your steps, as that'll make things easier....lol...