Koya-kaido Road (高野街道)

Koya-kaido Road can refer to a pilgrimage route that links the cities of Kyoto and Osaka with Mount Koya (Wakayama Prefecture).
It can also refer to the part of National Route 371 that runs between Kawachinagano City and Hashimoto City.

Summary

The original Koya-kaido Road is a route that links Nagano-mura Village in Tannan-gun County, Kawachi Province (presently Kawachinagano City) with Mount Koya; however, the route north of Nagano splits into a number of roads that link various areas with Mount Koya.
These roads are Nishi Koya-kaido Road, Shimo Koya-kaido Road, Naka Koya-kaido Road and Higashi Koya-kaido Road.

Higashi Koya-kaido Road

Historically, the road is believed to have been a Kando (a road that is improved, managed, and maintained by the Japanese nation) leading to either Heian-kyo or Nagaoka-kyo (ancient capital cities).
In addition to being the road for pilgrimage to Mount Koya, it was also one of the very few routes crossing Kawachi Province in the north-south direction.

Naka Koya-kaido Road
The starting point of the road is believed to be the ichirizuka (milestone) located at Deidoguchi west of Kumata Shrine.
Cloistered Imperial Prince Kakuho of Ninna-ji Temple is believed to have traveled this road on his pilgrimage to Mount Koya.

West Koya-kaido Road
The road is believed to have been used as the Mount Koya pilgrimage route from the late Heian period to the early Kamakura period.
In Muromachi and Edo periods, it was widely used for freight transport between Mount Koya and the trade port of Sakai.
The old road runs alongside the present-day National Route 310.

Shimo Koya-kaido Road
The Mount Koya pilgrimage route from Osaka City, it passes by Shitenno-ji Temple and merges with Nishi Koya-kaido Road at Iwamuro (in Sayama City, Osaka Prefecture).
Shimo Koya-bashi Bridge is found over Yamato River along the old road.

Routes
There are 4 routes with different starting points, as shown below, and all of them merge into one road in present-day Kawachinagano City. The routes cross over the Kimi-toge pass to Hashimoto, then reach to Mount Koya.

From the starting point to Nagano
Higashi Koya-kaido Road: See page at left for details.

Yawata (Yawata City, Kyoto Prefecture) - Horaga-toge - Taguchi-mura Village, Kawachi Province (Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture) - Kouzu-mura Village (Katano City) - Nakano-mura Village (Shijonawate City) - Toyoura-mura Village (Higashi-Osaka City) - Gakuonji-mura Village (Yao City) - Ando-mura Village (Kashiwabara City) - Kokufu-mura Village (Fujiidera City) - Konda-mura Village (Habikino City) - Tondabayashi-mura Village (Tondabayashi City) - Nagano-mura (Kawachinagano City) - Merge with Nishi Koya-kaido Road
Naka Koya-kaido Road
Hirano Ward (Hirano Ward, Osaka City) - Nishikire-mura Village (Hirano Ward) - Miyake-mura Village (Matsubara City) - Kuroyama-mura (Sakai City) - Sayama-shinjuku (Osaka Sayama City) - Ichi-mura Village (Kawachinagano City) - Merge with Nishi Koya-kaido Road
Shimo Koya-kaido Road
Shitenno-ji (Shitennoji Ward, Osaka City) - Tanabe-mura Village (Higashisumiyoshi Ward) - Amami-mura (Matsubara City) - Yashimo-mura (Sakai City) - Iwamuro-mura Village (Osakasayama City) - Merge with Nishi Koya-kaido Road
Nishi Koya-kaido Road
Sakai City (Sakai City) - Sekichaya (Sakai City) - Fukumachi (Sakai City) - Iwamuro-mura Village (Osakasayama City) - Kuminoki (Osaka Sayama City) - Ichi-mura Village - Merge with Naka Koya-kaido Road - Nagano-mura Village (Kawachinagano City) - Merge with Higashikoya-kaido Road

From Nagano to Hashimoto
Koya-kaido Road
Nagano-mura Village - Mikkaichi-mura Village (Kawachinagano City) - Amami-mura Village (Kawachinagano City) - Kimi-toge Pass - Hashimoto (Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture)

From Hashimoto to Mount Koya
Of the many routes linking Hashimoto and Mount Koya, Choishi-michi Road was the most traveled path until the Edo period.

Choishi-michi Road
Hashimoto (Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture) - Jisonin (Kudoyama-cho Town) - Amano-tsuji Trail - Kasamatsu-toge Pass - Mount Koya (Daimon Gate)
Kyo-Osaka-michi Road
Hashimoto (Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture) - Kawano-mura Village (Kudoyama-cho Town) - Fudozaka - Mount Koya (Nyonin-do)
Chokushizaka
Hashimoto (Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture) - Mitani (Katsuragi-cho Town) - Kasamatsu-toge Pass - Mount Koya (Daimon Gate)