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“Excellent Stay at Fudoin Temple”

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Koyasan Fudoin Temple
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 January 2014

We stayed for 1 night at this beautiful temple in the Hanare room which was amazing. It was very large and comfortable with excellent heating as it was snowing in January 2014 when we were there which was just lovely. We were met by one of the monks who showed us to the room (and very kindly carried my case) and explained how everything would work and what times he would pick us up for dinner, the Buddhist ceremony the following morning and then for breakfast. We felt very well cared for and had a very relaxing time. As our son is vegetarian this was an especially interesting experience for him. The food was very tasty and provided us with an amazing tasting experience.The service the following morning was very peaceful and reflective. The Head Monk explained about the region and its history. We felt very privileged to be allowed to stay at the Temple. In terms of travelling there it was not difficult at all. We used the World Heritage Pass which made things easy to get around incorporating the train trip, cable car and bus trips up and down the main street of Koyasan. We were very pleased that we went there in winter time as the snow made everything just that bit more beautiful and peaceful. If you get an opportunity to visit Koyasan or the Fudoin Temple it is certainly worth it.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Travelling_Trios3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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56 - 62 of 128 reviews

Reviewed 31 December 2013

We were very much looking forward to the experience but it was very disappointing as it was impersonal and rushed.

On arrival, instead of a welcome we were greeted by "It's reservation only" and were asked for passports in the middle of taking our shoes off. On the up-side, we were let in the room 1h before the official chekc in time. During our whole stay, we were constantly rushed - from reception to room, from room to dinner, from prayer room to breakfast, etc. with no explanations given. Nothing was ever explained about the temple; nor were we ever given an opportunity to ask any questions. Same applied to the dinner: as beautiful and delicious as the dinner was, we were given no explanation about the meal and the foods we were eating.

Morning prayer: guests of the temple are allowed to attend the morning prayer. From our experience, I understand that it was not a real prayer but a prayer staged especially as a demonstration for tourists. It was interesting and we had English translation of prayers on paper but again no explanation was given and there was no opportunity to ask questions. Breakfast was beautiful and delicious but no explanation about the foods we were eating.

Room: we had a traditional room with private toilet and shower but were not able to use the shower as the bathroom temperature was around 0C. (which is a common thing for traditional hotels)

This was the most expensive accommodation during our two weeks in Japan but the experience was disappointing, impersonal and not worth the money.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Irinaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2013

Our one night stay in Fudoin was the highlight of our trip to Japan. It should not be missed to stay in a temple in Koya-San. The Fudoin is really spacious and quiet. The perfect place to unwind from the hectic life and take a hot bath. It is totally worth the steep price (for those on a budget).

The food was really good and plenty. We had about 13 different dishes for dinner. If you wish to, you can order beer or sake with your food for additional cost. Of course there is also a vending machine in the temple halls for drinks. In generally we were surprised to find amenities like TV, Wifi and Aircon in a temple.

The futons were actually surprisingly comfortable.

The ceremony in the morning was really interesting and peaceful. It doesn't start super early (7AM).

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Skyla86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2013

I stayed at Fudoin temple from Nov 2-3, 2013. First, booking a room in this monastery was a breeze as I was able to do it through the website of Kumano travel. I was able to pay in advance and thus, was freed from the stress of wondering if my reservations are confirmed or If I would have enough cash to cover the costs.

The package I got was the Shinkan breakfast and dinner which includes accommodations in a typical Japanese room with an ensuite toilet. As Fudoin is a monastery, I was actually expecting more modest accommodations. I was pleasantly surprised as my room was large, had an aircon/heater, 42 inch LCD TV, a dressing area, a yukata and hoari, and even a hair dryer! The futon was very comfortable and made for a relaxing sleep.

The food was really, really good. I wouldn't even want to qualify that it's strictly vegetarian fare as the food that was served can stand up to its meat counterparts.

Another thing I liked about the monastery is its relative seclusion. It's away from the main street which heightens the peaceful atmosphere. The monastery has little pocket gardens which lends itself to quiet reflection.

To maintain the aura of calm in the monastery, guests are individually fetched from their rooms for meals and other services. Thus, it feels like you have the place all to yourself.

Overall, Fudoin provides great value for the price, and is a gem of a place to just relax and clear your mind.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Peewee L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

This is a five star ryokan maintained by the monks of the Buddhist Temple. It's new, spotless, with beautiful furnishings. Really luxury like a five star hotel. The food is strictly vegetarian but varied and tasty. The morning prayer is a mystic experience. All Koya-san is not only a very sacred and spiritual but also amazingly lovely place.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Iordanka M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

I stayed at the Fudoin Temple with a friend for one night in early October 2013 and I can say it was a great and unforgettable experience. Doing some research before choosing this place I found out that Fudoin is a bit more expensive than other surrounding temples, but not very much so and I felt the price is fully justified. I booked a room with individual toilet and bathroom, overseeing a marvelous Zen-style garden with old Buddha statues discretely pleasing the eye here and there. Everything in the room was so clean that it seemed unreal. I have lived in Japan for many years and am used to their cleanliness, but this was new to me. Meanwhile, the dinner, comprising only food based on vegetables (shoujin ryouri in Japanese, or “spiritual food”) was delicious (served in a special room in front of another garden), and the quantities more than generous. In fact, not being a vegetarian, I was thinking I might go hungry late in the night, but the food was sufficient and gave me the necessary energy boost for the following day. The temple staff were genuinely nice people, helping me with any question I had. We arrived rather late, around 6 PM, but wanted to see a famous ceremony at Oku-No-In, the must-see place on Koya-san, and the master of the temple, who happened to be at the reception, offered to give us a ride midway to shorten the distance (we declined, being already dark outside and us tired).
In the morning, we went to “gongyou” or morning prayers, from 7 AM, where the monks chanted the famous Heart Sutra. After the prayers, the head master explained about the history of the temple, gave some useful advices about what to see on Koya-san, and then he repeated the explanations in very fluent English. He was clearly a highly educated person. While the Fudoin Temple is not a hotel per se, the monks living there made us feel very comfortable and welcome while keeping a slightly distant and respectful stance – after all they don’t work for a hotel (hence, obviously, they did not help with the luggage).
All in all I can gladly recommend this temple to anyone wishing to experience Koya-san and the Buddhist way of living. And a little advice if you have some more time to spare around: Oku-No-In is just amazing, and many tourists go there but I got the impression that many of them enter the road leading to Oku-No-In from a bus station not far from Oku-No-In (called Naka No Hashi). So they skip the most magical part of the road to Oku-No-In, which starts actually at Ichi No Hashi, or the First Bridge (this is very close to Fudoin). If you stay at Fudoin or even at some other temple, I recommend you do the whole 2km distance to Oku-No-In from Ichi No Hashi, it would be a pity to miss that. The forest road is well preserved, and does not require hiking skills, it really is an easy trip and you are surrounded by endless stone Buddhas and cedar trees.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Stefan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2013

I was told that staying at a temple at Koyasan was something not to miss and so glad we included it in our itinerary. Easy to get to and back from Osaka, altogether a very picturesque ride. It was a peaceful respite from the cities we had been visiting and the calm atmosphere invites you to take it easy. We only stayed one night at Fudoin but we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of amenities on offer (WiFi, TV, heating) despite being summer it was actually quite cool (probably due to the altitude). the beautiful traditional Japanese room was very spacious and the monks so welcoming and eager to help. The baths were great i was tempted to go twice. my brother who prefers to wash in the morning was a little peeved that the baths are only opened at night but still enjoyed himself. dinner and breakfast are Japanese style meals and i had read reviews saying the meals were quite small in serving size, so my brother and i sought out a restaurant in town which was lucky for when dinner was served i knew it wouldn't have been enough to satisfy my teenage brother's appetite especially when we had had only a small lunch due to traveling there. The dinner was still quite nice and i enjoyed trying some new things however it would've been better if all the guests could've sat together to eat. There were several other guests and we were all seated at different tables with a small screen between us. it was really weird and you felt like you had to whisper.

We had a walk through the famous cemetery which is only a short bus ride away it had just rained so there was a slight mist and gave it great atmosphere its probably even better at night. Apparently there were audio guides but i didnt know where to find these it would have been nice to know the history as well.

Highly recommend a trip here if you can fit it in

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank aereandria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Koyasan Fudoin Temple

Address: 456 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun 648-0211, Wakayama Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Wakayama Prefecture > Ito-gun > Koya-cho
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 46 Speciality lodging in Koya-cho
Price Range: £173 - £291 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Koyasan Fudoin Temple 3*
Number of rooms: 9
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