236 - 18th September 2006 - Koyasan

Breakfast! Looks a lot like dinner

Breakfast in full

All the meals were vegetarian

The gardens in the morning

Monk statue

Elephant statue

An inventive seat

A nice garden

The Ichinohashi Bridge - Entrace to the sacred Okunoin Gobyo cemetary

Cleanse before entering

Sculpture at the entrance way

There are thousands and thousands of gravestones here

But it all feels a lot less morbid than western cemetaries


Families in Japan will often bring picnics to their families graves to dine with their ancestors

More stones

The whole area was surrounded by a thick forest

It was all very atmospheric

The trees grew straight up through the middle of some areas

It all feels very natural

We think this guy may have died of fugu poisoning. We can't think of another explanation for the puffer fish on top

It might feel a bit spooky at night though

Some graves were very elaborate

Pilgrims come on coach trips to pay their respects

A line of stones

This pile is dedicated to unborn children. A giant mound of statuettes

It was very bright red

Quite impressive to stand in front of

Arty shot

Just behind it were more statues

Close up

The whole pyramid was filled to the brim inside as well

Dousing these statues honours the dead. You can write the name of a lost one on a bit of wood if you wish.

The line of statues

The pilgrims arrive and do likewise

A river runs through the graveyard

There is a modern graveyard slightly further to the south

Some of the gravestones are really quite original

The Kongobuji temple - The main temple in Koyasan

Big bit of wood. Don't know why

For once we were allowed to take photos inside

Famous crane paintings by the Kano Tansai

Shrine. The box at the front is where you throw your money

Willow in four seasons - The other seasons are on the other walls

Stone garden

We thought that this type of garden was usually a Zen thing but apparently not

The big rocks are supposed to represent two dragons

We couldn't see it

More screen paintings

Some are very detailed

Goldfish in the pond

The mausoleum of Bishop Shinzen

Close up

Inside the building

Stairway to enlightenment?

Another shrine

Back in the Garan - A Fountain

Another shrine over a red bridge

Turtle in the water!

Closer to the shrine

There were lots of fish asking for food

Monk wandering the streets

It may look very quiet an peaceful but the town was actually quite busy

Carving at our temple.

Rock buddha!

The cablecar

Inside. It was very steep!

The route back down

The track bent around a corner

The other car coming the other way

Mountain scenery

Arriving at our destination

Pretty eh?