We took a private tour organised through the Koyasan visitor information centre. We requested a look at some of Koyasan's lesser known temples and a hike through the surrounding countryside for 4 hours
Our guide was Shozo. Shozo was an amazing guide. He is a retired gentleman, who has clearly a passion for hiking. I believe this was the first hike that he had guided and he went to an exceptional amount of effort with maps, pictures, local history, religion - even some warm up exercises which we did with him to the amusement of some local tourists. Note that we are far from professional hikers, we are much more at home in the city and were not very fit. Shozo was very kind not to draw attention to this fact. No special hiking equipment was required - we wore our jogging shoes.
Shozo really did fulfil the brief, and we were delighted with him and the tour. It was 10,000 yen ($100 approx) for the two of us (total) and it was very much worth it. Shozo was very thoughtful, and brought along oranges, sweets and water to keep us full of energy. On the way back down we stopped to try some local sweets and a cup of tea.
The countryside around Koyasan is really beautiful. Shozo was an excellent guide. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend undertaking a hike and tour with Shozo.
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