Koyasan by day

The futon was confortable and the room was warm. Sleep should have been easy.

Sara slept like a rock, while thanks to my allergy I spent the night sneezing and abusing of Rinazina.

As a result, when the time to wake up came, Sara jumped off the bed, ready to attend the morning prayer. I decided to stay in bed to get some more rest.

Later Sara told me that…

… the pray was interesting. We poured incense over a bracier. While the monk recited mantra ringing a bell once in a while. The fire ceremony was cool too, as the temperature in the temple (around 6 degree).

As soon as Sara came back to our room a monk brought breakfast.

Vegetarian breakfast tofu based

Most of it was tofu. If you’re not fond of it it looks dubious, at the touch feels like a sponge, and tastes like plastic.

The rest was vegetarian. Luckily I had a couple of Honey Dorayaki to save me from starving.

We packed our stuff and left the everything at the monks until we were done exploring Koyasan.

We went back to the cemetery. It looked nothing like the night before. In bright sunlight all the shadows hiding object from our view, left space to a lush forest.

Cedars trees in the Koyasan cemetery

Enormous cedars trees, some of which older than 500 years, flank the path tanking the peregrine to Kobo Daishi mausoleum.

Under the trees and among the tombstones there are thousand of little statues, many of them wear handknitted hat. One of them was even abused with makeup…

Lipstick and foundation…

Going forward we entered the sacred part of the cemetery, where taking pictures is forbidden. The air you smell here is different from the previous area. You can feel the religiosity of the place with the monks attending at the ritual in the temple and a group of peregrine chanting some kind of mantra.

Here is where Kobo Daishi body is resting in meditation since 835. His followers believe he did not die. Instead he will wake up when the next Buddha will come. 

After stamping Sara’s collection book we walked back to the city to visit the other main temples and attractions.

Entrance gate to Kongobuji

Next stop Kongobuji, the headquarters of Kobo Daishi before he went to sleep.

Internal Rock Garden

We walked through many rooms, learning about Kobo trip to China as an ambassador, and his comeback to Japan as a Teaching monk.

A room with all the shoji (sliding doors) painted in golden colours

We were even offered a tea in one of the biggest room of the house.

The room where we enjoyed our free tea

Traversal section of a tree cut when was around 700years old

Most notable thing in the house is the rock garden. This place is a buddhist garden representing two dragons (the big black rocks) coming out from a sea of small white rocks.

Daigaran pagoda

Next to the headquarters is situated the Daigaran complex. As everything in Japan, the original buildings in this complex were burner down or hit by lightning, more than once. 

Konpon Daito

The Pagoda especially was destroyed several times because struck by a lighting. I can understand why, given the 4 meters copper flagpole they put on each rooftop.

Main gate of Diagaran

The access to the other buildings was  subordinate to a offer of some hundreds ¥. Problem is, nobody was there to check. But everybody was giving exactly what was written on the paper… Amazing how people here are so respectfully.
Following are the description plates of a temple, a Pagoda and a gate. Here you can see how all those building have burned during the centuries. Like this tree most of the Japanese heritage ended up in the same way… 

Last thing on the list was the Daimon gate. This huge wooden structure got fire only a couple of time and was rebuild recently at two thirds of the original dimensions.. Still, it’s massive. 

Daimon gate

Walking back to our temple to take back our laggages, we stopped a couple of times to buy some suovenirs. Thanks to this we lost the bus I planned to take to the cable car.

Fortunately there was a second bus just 15 minutes later.

On the bus we met another Italian couple who, like us, decided to spend a couple of week traveling all around Japan.

View from the train

We talked and shared our experiences during all the cable car and the train back to Osaka. There we exchanged numbers and parted. 
It was nice to meet you Laura and Roberto!

In Osaka we took the Shinkansen to Hiroshima, the next stop of our trip.
This is enough to for today.

See you tomorrow with the updates regarding Hiroshima!

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