Sacred Entrance to Mount Koya – Daimon

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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”

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Danjo Garan Complex – Buildings Part 2

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In this two part review (this being part 2) I will introduce you to some of the main buildings and structures within the Danjo Garan Complex – the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism in Japan. If you have not read my introductory review on the complex and how it came to be where it is I recommend you do so prior to continuing. Continue reading “Danjo Garan Complex – Buildings Part 2”

Okunoin – The Inner Sanctum

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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”

The State, Aristocracy, Big Business and Okunoin

30Shingon Buddhism has been very closely tied to the State and supported by the aristocracy since its inception by Kobo Daishi in 816. The latter association giving rise to the term ‘Aristocratic Buddhism’. While many temples in the Danjo Garan (seperate reviews), and elsewhere in Koyasan, were built at the request of, or in memory of, former Japanese Emperors, high ranking military officials and the like, nowhere are these associations more evident than here in the Okunoin Cemetery. Continue reading “The State, Aristocracy, Big Business and Okunoin”