Koya-san is one of the most sacred places in Japan. This isolated mountain valley community at over 3,000 feet above sea level, is protected by two concentric mountain chains of eight peaks each. It is said these resemble eight-petalled lotus blossoms. There are over 100 ancient wooden temples surrounded by Japanese Cedars. Here, you can stay overnight at a Buddhist temple where you can observe daily temple life firsthand, and attend the daily prayer service early in the morning. The monks from the temple will serve meals of Shojin-ryori, the traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine.