Sacred Entrance to Mount Koya – Daimon


While very few tourists use it to enter Koyasan, most entering via Koyasan Train Station, the Daimon, or Great Gate, is the sacred main entrance to Mount Koya. Like many day-trip visitors today, this was our last stop in Koyasan before heading back to Osaka, after a rather late lunch in a small local restaurant close to the Daimon. Continue reading “Sacred Entrance to Mount Koya – Daimon”


Kongobu-ji – Head Temple of Shingon Buddhism


The first temple on this site, Daidenbo-in, was built in 1133 by the monk Kakubun, with the support of the then Emperor, Toba. Nothing of this temple remains today.

In 1593 shogun Toyotomi Hudeyoshi, best remembered by some as a despotic general and persecutor of Christian missionaries, requested the monk Ogo to build a new temple (Seigan-ji) here to commemorate the death of his mother. The good monk complied. Continue reading “Kongobu-ji – Head Temple of Shingon Buddhism”

Jufuku-in Temple – Burma War Veterans Memorial


The vast majority of the many temples in Koyasan are square or rectangular in shape, dark coloured (with the notable exception of the Konpon Daito Pagoda in the Danjo Garan) and have some form of courtyard. As such the brightly coloured octagonal Jufuku-in Pagoda Temple (Manihoto) by the side of the town’s main street really stood out as I made my way from Okunoin Cemetery towards the Garan. Continue reading “Jufuku-in Temple – Burma War Veterans Memorial”

Okunoin – The Inner Sanctum


Having made our way along the sacred path, lined with tombstones and stone lanterns (many moss covered) and tall cedar trees, for almost two kilometres from Ichinohashi Bridge through the Okunoin Cemetery we arrived at the Gobyonohashi Bridge.

Crossing this bridge brought us into the most sacred part of Okunoin, an area where photography, eating and drinking is prohibited – a very holy place for the Japanese. Continue reading “Okunoin – The Inner Sanctum”

Mizumuke Jizo In Okunoin


Prior to crossing the Gobyonohashi Bridge and entering into the most sacred part of Okunoin, where the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, is located, you will come across a row of bronze statues, These mostly depict the Bodhisattva Jizo who looks after children, travellers, and the souls of the deceased, particularly those of deceased children. Continue reading “Mizumuke Jizo In Okunoin”