Hanabishi – Koyasan, Wakayama, Japan – try some traditional Japanese food before visiting the famous cemetery, Okunoin


As at July 2021, there is a notice saying that the restaurant is closed but I hope it is only temporary. This restaurant was one of few standout restaurants we visited at Koyasan. On the way to Okunoin, the famed cemetery we visited Hanabishi for lunch. The restaurant was peaceful and the service was excellent.

Hanabishi is usually only open from lunch until around 6:00 pm. Koyasan is a small village, so opening times tend to reflect the smaller traffic to these remotes parts of Japan. I highly recommend visiting Koyasan to capture the aesthetic charms, nature and living like a Buddhist monk for a night or two. It is a huge contrast to the hustle and bustle of the big Japanese metropolises like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

Hibi-koujitsu Bento at Hanabishi

We were lucky to visit when the restaurant was quiet back in June 2019. We ordered two bento boxes. One was the Hibi-koujitsu Bento (a lunchbox-style meal named “Every day is a good day”) for 2,000 yen plus tax and the other the Hanamido Bento (a lunchbox-style meal named “Buddha’s flower room”) for 2,800 yen plus tax.

Hanamido Bento at Hanabishi

The bento boxes come with lots of different smaller dishes. Most of the vegetables and fruits were excellent and fresh. There was a lot of love and care put into the presentation, from the way the vegetables were carved like leaves to the delicate cuts in the fruit to make it more convenient for us to eat.

The food was delicious. I really enjoyed trying all the dishes one at a time. I loved the custard tofu dish and the Japanese fried whitebait.

We were served green tea, sugar sweet and a hot towel before our boxes come out. Once the boxes came out, we were surprised by the quantity and quality of the food. It is a well worth restaurant to visit. It is one of few modern restaurants in the area.

Of course, Hanabishi serves many monks living in Koyasan so you can expect a lot of excellent vegetarian dishes on the menu.

Koyasan Hanabishi is located at 769 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun Wakayama Prefecture:

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