Today was an interesting day trip to Koya-san. To say it took a while to get there would be an understatement – it took us about 3 hours one way catching three different trains, a cable car and a bus before we finally got to Koya-san. Why so long, well we first had to head into Osaka central (about 55km) and then back out the same distance again by train. Have to admit I love the Japanese train system though, all of the trains, cable cars and buses are perfectly timed with each other so there is only a very small transition time, generally around 5-10 minutes.
Our timing was both good and bad. Because we travelled to Koya-san on the 4th, it was just after New Years so all of the main rituals were finished (which meant the temples were open) and the entry was free! Score! The main drawback though was that the museum and all of the restaurants were closed, but fortunately we found a convenience store for some food. We also got to enjoy our first snow for the year (and throw a few snowballs) along with our visits to the temples. The feet did get pretty cold having to take off shoes in the temples though!
I enjoyed our visit to Koya-san and would recommend visiting the area (provided you enjoy visiting temples). A lot of tourists stay overnight in the temples which have opened for lodgings which I’m sure would be a good experience; however, if you wanted to you could make it just a day trip as the town is surprisingly small and easy to walk around.