Sacred places in Koyasan
by Wojciech Fedoruk - 5 years ago
Koyasan is not one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, but in my opinion definitely should be. The town is accessible by train from Osaka (with one or two changes) and the last part of the journey is cable car, climbing more than 300m in 5 minutes! Located in the mountains, Koyasan was the main centre of so-called Shingon (“true word”) Buddhism and home of its master Kukai, known also as Kobo-Daishi. Kukai was also famous for its simplification of Chinese alphabet, used in Japan until now. The Kobo-Daishi mausoleum, located in Koyasan is so important for Japanese that you cannot take pictures of its outside (usually Buddhists restrict taking photos only inside their sacred places). The Mausoleum is located in the remarkable cemetery with over 200,000 stone monuments. The cemetery is placed amongst old cedar trees that make this place cool even during the hot Japanese summer. Some monuments are covered with colored cloths and those are built in memory of aborted children or those infants who died at an early age.
Koyasan is also famous of its temples, especially Kongobu-ji and Danjo Garan complex, with marvelous red pagoda Konpon Daito. For me the town is one of the best spots in Japan.