Danjo Garan Complex – Buildings Part 2


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”


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”

Pohyon Temple – Mt Myohyang


Pohyon Buddhist temple, one of the few places of worship in North Korea open to foreign visitors, dates from 1042 and the Koryo dynasty. It was founded by a monk named Kwanghwak and is named after the saint that guards the morals of Buddha. The current incarnation of the temple mainly dates from post the Korean war (1951-53) when the temple complex was extensively damaged by US bombings with over half of the buildings completely destroyed. Continue reading “Pohyon Temple – Mt Myohyang”