There are some sacred places where Buddhist monks undertake spiritual training in Japan. One of the most famous and important places is Koyasan founded by the great priest Kukai in the 9th century.
We call Kukai respectfully “Kobo Daishi” or “Odaishisama”. He went to China to study Buddhism and after returning to Japan, he found a new isosteric Buddhism called “Shingon Buddhism”. After searching an ideal place to build a monastic community in the mountain, he finally decided to choose Koyasan.
Koyasan is a mountain top Buddhist town. There are 117 temples with 52 offering lodging. It is located 900 meters high from sea level. 3000 people live here and more than 500 are monks.
More than four hundred thousand people come to Koyasan every year. Why so many people come? The attraction of Koyasan is as follows.
@ Enjoy atmosphere of silent Buddhist town
@ See great buildings and Buddhist statues in Garan area
@ Walk through the path to Okunoin where great tombstones lined
@ Stay at Shukubo or Buddhist-inns and experience Buddhist meditation. Take Shojin-Ryori or vegetarian meal made for Buddhist monks
Okunoin is a cemetery and sacred area that extends about 2km to Kobo Daish’s mausoleum. The path is lined on both sides by hundreds of centuries-old cedar trees. Among the trees are over 200,000 gravestones.