Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mount Kōya (高野山 Kōya-san)

Welcome to this post on  Koyasan. We travelled to Koyasan from Osaka. After a scenic train journey up Mt. Koya, this cable car takes you up to the town
Situated on a small plain at the top of Mount Koya is the sacred area known as the Danjo Garan, a complex of temples, halls, pagodas and Buddhist statuary 
Surrounded by a thick forest of massive cedars, the area known as Okuno-in, or the Inner Sanctuary, is the setting for a vast cemetery that features the mausolea of numerous famous Japanese, including that of the samurai ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Koyasan is home to an active monastic center founded twelve centuries ago by the priest Kukai (posthumously known as Kobo Daishi) for the study and practice of Esoteric Buddhism. It is the headquarters of the Koyasan sect of Shingon Buddhism, a faith with a wide following throughout Japan
It is cold on the mountain
Jizo, the bodhisattva is the protector of children, expectant mothers, firemen, and travelers. Most of all, he is the protector of deceased children, including miscarried, aborted or stillborn infants. The little statues are statues of Jizo Bosatsu
The cemetery is the largest in Japan
Red and orange are the dominant colours
The little shelter is in need of some repair
The moss keeps the Buddha warm
Less gaudy and striking for it
Daniela, not in red!
A long line in the sun and shadow
So carefully looked after
The cedar trees are magnificent
Gorgeous mausoleum
I couldn't find any information about it. Please leave a comment if you know
Some of the walkways are large avenues, others are small pathways
Wish I could read........
Dappled cedar roots
This was a figurine we saw on a temple as we were walking in the main street. He doesn't look too happy about holding the temple up all the time!
The entrance to Kongōbu-ji (金剛峯寺) It is the ecclesiastic head temple of Koyasan Shingon Buddhism
Its name means "Temple of the Diamond Mountain"
The temple was first constructed as Seigan-ji Temple in 1593 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi on the death of his mother, rebuilt in 1861, and given its present name in 1869
The temple's modern Banryūtei (蟠龍庭) rock garden is Japan's largest (2340 square meters), with 140 granite stones arranged to suggest a pair of dragons emerging from clouds to protect the temple
I guess you have to have an arial view to see the dragons
Time for a cup of tea before heading back to Osaka. A truly magical place, Koyasan was one of the highlights of our trip to Japan. The picture on the far wall in the centre is of Kobo Daishi who founded the monastic complex at Koyasan in 816