What should we wear when visiting Koyasan? Dress Manners and Monthly Fashion Recommendations
While casual clothing is acceptable when visiting Koyasan, there is also a minimum dress code of etiquette. Particular attention should be paid in Shukubo (Temple Lodgings). In addition, Koyasan is located at an altitude of more than 800 meters above sea level, and the days can be considerably colder than in the plains. This page describes the climate (maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation) and the recommended clothing for each month. For monthly weather, we use historical weather data (average values for temperature and precipitation) published by the Japan Meteorological Agency, but please also check the latest weather forecast, as it can vary greatly depending on the weather.
What is the manner of dress when visiting temples in Koyasan? Can we wear casual clothes?
Koyasan is a place where those who have completed the 88 pilgrimage sites on Shikoku pay their respects for the successful completion of the pilgrimage. Some people visit the temple dressed in pilgrimage attire such as white robe, wan-kesa (monk's robe), and vajra. However, there is no specific dress code for visiting Koyasan. Many people visit and sightsee in simple, casual clothing, such as T-shirts and sweatshirt tops and bottoms. Those who walk on trails such as the Koyasan-choishimichi and those who mainly tour the central area on foot instead of using cars or buses should wear comfortable clothes and suitable shoes for walking. The manner of dress when entering a temple is the same as that of typical Japanese temples or shrines. For example, miniskirts, off-shoulders, damaged jeans, and other revealing attire should be avoided. If you stay at Shukubo (Temple Lodgings) and attend the morning service, you may be asked to leave if you wear a yukata (an informal cotton kimono) or tanzen (a thickly padded, oversize kimono). Clothing made of fur or leather (especially clothing that is conspicuous for its use of such materials) should not be worn, as these are clothes made by killing animals and are associated with the Buddhist taboo of killing. Koyasan also has shrines, a remnant of the Shinto-Buddhist syncretism, and it is good manners to remove your hat before entering the shrine (when passing through the torii gate). It is convenient to wear shoes that can be removed quickly and easily, as there are many opportunities to remove your shoes, such as when entering the temple building.
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in January are 3.4°C and -4°C, respectively. Since it is especially cold in the mornings and evenings, full protective clothing is recommended, such as down, long coats, and other warm outerwear. The estimated monthly precipitation is low at 87.6 mm, and although there are many sunny days, snowfall is possible. Table of Contents
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in February are 4.8°C and -3.8°C, respectively, and as in January, full protective clothing is recommended, including down, long coats, and other warm outerwear. The estimated monthly precipitation is 97.4 mm, a little more than in January, but not by much.
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in March are 9.2°C and -1.0°C, respectively. It is recommended to wear a lightweight, warm cotton coat and a down vest as an inner layer. The estimated monthly precipitation is 141.7 mm, and the number of rainy days is gradually increasing. Table of Contents
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in April are 15.1°C and 3.7°C, respectively. Thick cardigans, long cardigans, and sweatshirts are useful. The estimated monthly precipitation is 141.5 mm, about the same as in May in Tokyo and September in Osaka.
The maximum temperature in Koyasan in May is 20.1°C (68.4°F), and the minimum is usually 8.9°C (46.9°F). It is the perfect season, neither hot nor cold, and if the weather is fine, a light long-sleeved top will be fine during the day. It is a good idea to carry a light jacket, cardigan, stole, or hoodie for the cooler mornings and evenings. The estimated monthly precipitation is 166.6 mm, about the same as in June in Tokyo and July in Osaka, and slightly more. Table of Contents
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in June are 22.8°C and 14°C. As in May, it is recommended to bring a light jacket, cardigan, stole, or parka, in addition to light long sleeves. Estimated monthly precipitation is 260 mm, with many rainy days.
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in July are estimated to be 26.6°C and 18.4°C, respectively. Since it gets much warmer during the day, short-sleeved tops are recommended. Morning and evening temperatures are cooler, so it is recommended to prepare a light cardigan, shirt, or other easily portable garment. The estimated monthly precipitation is 256.4 mm, which, like June, is quite high. Table of Contents
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in August are estimated to be 27.8°C and 18.8°C, respectively. As in July, the recommended attire is a short-sleeved top and a light cloak. Estimated monthly precipitation is 192.5 mm, less than in June-July, but still with many rainy days.
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in September are 23.7°C and 15.3°C. As in June, light jackets, cardigans, stoles, and parkas are recommended, in addition to light long sleeves. Estimated monthly precipitation is 247.5 mm, with more due to typhoons and other factors.
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in October are approximately 17.8°C and 9.1°C, respectively, which is about the same as mid to late November in Tokyo. Light outerwear is essential, as the mornings and evenings can be bitterly cold. Thick knitwear is also recommended. The estimated monthly precipitation is 203.3 mm, less than in September. Table of Contents
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in November are 12.2°C and 3°C, respectively. These temperatures are about the same as those in midwinter (December to February) in Tokyo, so you will need to take adequate measures against the cold. A combination of knitwear and a coat is recommended. The estimated monthly precipitation is 108.4 mm, which is low for Koyasan. Table of Contents
The maximum and minimum temperatures in Koyasan in December are 6.3°C and -1.6°C, respectively. Because of the high altitude, it will be much colder than winters in urban areas, so you will need to take all possible measures to keep warm. In addition to thick tops such as knitwear, it is recommended to wear outerwear with excellent heat retention properties, such as down jackets and down coats. The estimated monthly precipitation is 89.3 mm, which is the lowest of the year, but snow is still a concern.