During our trip to Japan, we spent a night at Koyasan, where at 800m above sea level lies a temple town known as a centre of Shingon Buddhism. After the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, the tranquillity of this town was exactly what we needed.
We took the cable car up the mountain and arrived early to wander around the town's impressive cemeteries. We spent the night at a shukubo, a temple lodging where we enjoyed the warmth of the onsen, the chanting of the monks early in the morning, and the most beautifully presented and delicious all-vegetarian dishes one can imagine.
Winter is a quiet time of the year to visit this remote town, but come summer and the place will be packed with people. If you get a chance, do make an effort and visit Koyasan, its stunning spirituality will stay with you forever.