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Car rental Kyoto-Koyasan?

Car rental Kyoto-Koyasan?

Old Aug 20, 11, 3:52 pm
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Car rental Kyoto-Koyasan?

My husband and I will be in Kyoto for 5 days at the end of September and will spend one night at Koyasan. We had planned to take the train but it seems rather complicated so we're now considering renting a car instead. Doesn't seem terribly expensive and it would allow us to go to Nara on the way back. I assume there's a place to leave the car overnight at Gokurakubashi? We'll be spending Saturday night at Koyasan so perhaps traffic will be an issue?

Any thoughts on this idea? Does anyone have a recommendation regarding car rental companies in Kyoto?


Last edited by laurajoyce; Aug 20, 11 at 3:58 pm
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Old Aug 20, 11, 4:40 pm
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I'd prefer the train to get from Kyoto to Koyasan. It's really not complicated. (Train to Osaka, subway to Namba, Nankai train direct to Gokurakubashi). Train from Koya to Nara is also pretty straightforward.

If you were to drive, you can drive up to the top of Koya - There's no need to leave the car at Gokurakubashi. It will certainly take longer than the train journey.

A car becomes useful if you're going south from Koya and touring the Mie peninsula.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 1:58 pm
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Yes, the train isn't that difficult.

If you're trying to do the whole thing on JR, yes, that's a bit complicated, but I did it, and it was actually kind of fun, because I ended up on what was basically a local shopping shuttle plus school bus for a series of little towns.

However, you can simply take the train to Osaka, go to Namba, and take the Nankai Express. Depending on which run you take, it costs 1990-2200, and you don't have to worry about buying gasoline, getting lost, or driving on twisting mountain roads.

To go to Nara on the way back, take the Nankai train to Shin-Imamiya Station in Osaka and transfer to the Yamatoji Line to Nara. Hyperdia says that's 2500.

I hope you have reserved a spot at a temple all ready. There's kind of a central booking office, and once you get off the funicular, you simply go there, announce your arrival, and receive directions to "your" temple, which usually involves a bus ride.

You'll have a vegan dinner and breakfast, and they will expect you to attend the morning service at 6AM, which means that you sit on the floor while the monks chant in classical Chinese. (You're not expected to participate.)

You will enjoy your visit more if you read up on Shingon Buddhism beforehand. For a Shingon devotee, the highlight of the pilgrimage is a visit to the tomb of Kobo Daishi, the founder of the sect. You reach it by walking down a path through the woods, and the path is lined with tombs of people famous in Japanese history. There are more modern tombs, too. Wealthy people pay to have their ashes buried there, and some are industrialists whose whimsical tombstones represent the products they sold.

There's a small town near the temple complex, and it is likely that your meals will be served by a local teenager who is earning spending money. (There are apprentice monks, but they wear more elaborate uniforms.)

Last edited by ksandness; Aug 21, 11 at 2:05 pm
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Old Aug 21, 11, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
the Mie peninsula.
I guess you meant the Kii Peninsula. Koyasan, KIX etc. are located in the west of the Kii Peninsula. So I call them Kii West.
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Old Aug 21, 11, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by O Sora View Post
I guess you meant the Kii Peninsula.
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