Recommendation by Lemi
The earliest ryokans were free rest houses (called “fuseya") put up by Buddhist monks. Nestled in Mount Koya, Shojoshin-in welcomes pilgrims to observe daily life in the temple. Guests are toured around the grounds and served Buddhist cuisine (Shojin-Ryori, 精進料理). A side trip to Okunoin, the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi (the founder of Shingon Buddhism), is as easy as hopping next door. Life is enjoyed simply and deeply at Shojoshin-in. Unwind in a lush Japanese garden. Sleep on tatami-lined floors; their futons are actually really comfortable. Share a dip in the baths with other guests—both men and women! Their Hanare (private accommodations with a bath and toilet) is also available for a higher price.