Mount Koya is a sacred mountain to Japanese who practice Buddhism and is a picture perfect Zen landscape- complete with tall Cedar trees shrouded in mist, ancient rock temples, and tall waterfalls. Buddhist monks dressed in orange and red robes walk the mountain and take care of the landscapes. Take a bus ride up the mountain to the Monastery.
After driving to Mount Koya among the beautiful landscapes, trees, long uphills, we finally arrived at Mount Koya monastery where we noticed that our cell phones signals were gone. As millennium tourists, we were divested.
We spent the night on mount Koya, changed into our Japanese PJs and ate traditional Japanese dinner with the monks. Slept in traditional Ryokan; Japanese minimalist wooden structure with futon-like mattresses on straw mats. (O.M.G. did I mention the Green tea)
We struggled to find signals, but lucky for us the monastery had wifi for its guests 🙂 we had to wake up super early, like at 6 am (it is early with the different time zones and the jet lagging) to practice Zen meditation during their morning prayer session. (I did not even wake up for that) I had the opportunity to practice and learn about Zen meditation at noon of that same day when my body was awake a little LOL.
No shoes on wood. no shoes in bedrooms, no shoes were there was carpet, bathroom has its own slippers that we can find in the bathroom hall. Bedrooms also had their own slippers to wake around on wood in them. no yelling, no loud talking, no sleeping late, no distractions, and just be respectful and follow the rules (learn these rules and the monks will love you)
Mount Koya was beyond beautiful, the scenery was amazing, trees, the morning mist, Oh my god and the fresh air was breathless.