Koyasan Today

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In 2004, Koyasan was registered through UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The official title is the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.

In the last 1200 years, the teachings, rituals and traditions in Koyasan havenot changed. Through the efforts of countless people, the community has been able to preserve its rich heritage and its customs, but there have been some notable changes that have occurred over time. Today there are 117 temples in Koyasan, but there used to be many more. Although many of the ancient buildings have survived for many years, some of the original buildings have been lost due to fire.

Another significant change occurred in 1872. This was the year that the law prohibiting women to enter Koyasan was removed. This change not only brought women to Koyasan, but with them many other common people and children came to the mountain community. What was once a place only for male priests gradually transformed into a small town.

In 2004, Koyasan was registered through UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The official title is the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”. Since being registered as a World Heritage site, more and more visitors from diverse countries have come to Koyasan to appreciate the rich history and its unique atmosphere. Although the essence of Koyasan has remained the same, nowadays all walks of life are able to live in peace at the site where Kobo Daishi founded this sacred place 1,200 years ago.