My travel to Ekoin in Mount Koya (Koyasan) entails riding two JRL trains, a subway, a local train, a cable car and a bus.
The bus deposits at Ekoin, a 1,000-year old Buddhist Temple. Ekoin is one of approximately 50 temples offering lodging (skukubo) to tourists.
My room at Ekoin is sparse but it offers a fantastic view of the sunny garden. I have just enough time in the afternoon to walk Okunoin, Mount Koya's most sacred site and home to a spectacular cemetery.
Vegetarian inner is served in my room at the early hour of 5:30. The food is so-so, but the monks do provide beer upon request. Afterwards, I play around on the internet (yes, there's wifi up here) and go to bed early because there's not much else to do.
At 6:30 the next morning I join my fellow guests to observe the daily prayer service. Afterwards we follow the monks next door to the daily Goma fire ritual.