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


Statues


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?