Koyasan is a mountaintop basin resting over 800 meters above sea level. It is a sacred place for training of Shingon Buddhism founded by Kobo-Daishi, Kukai in the 8th century. There are 117 temples, with 53 offering lodging. It is a great religious town founded on the mountain. Today, many foreigners visit here to feel its holly atmosphere, stay at Shukubo or Buddhist lodging, experience Shojin-Ryori or vegetarian meal for Buddhist monks. Along the path to Okunoin, lie the tombstones of over two hundred thousand people. Walk through the path with ancient tall cedars create an atmosphere that is at once secluded and serene, yet charged with energy.
- Okunoin area is a cemetery with many tombstones leading to a mausoleum of Kobo-Daishi. Visit first to this sacred place. It will be an unforgettable memory.
- Second site is the Kongobuji Temple which is the headquarters of Koyasan Shingon sect. The sect has 4000 temples in Japan. You can enter into the main building and enjoy seeing Japanese rock garden.
- The third spot is the Dai-Garan which is the center of the ritual life of the religious community and is one of the holiest spots on the mountain. The Great Stupa and Daimon gate are must to see.
What You Can Expect in this Tour
Okunoin is revered as a site sacred to Japanese Buddhism. It is believed that Kobo-Daishi never actually died, and instead entered a kind of eternal meditation in 835.Over 200,000 grave markers and stone monuments have been built in the vicinity of Kobo-Daishi’s mausoleum and along the 2km path leading to it by his devotees. Many of the grave markers have a five-layered shape. This is called a Gorinto or a five-elements stupa, and the five stones placed on top of each other represent the five elements that make up the physical world in Buddhism.
This temple is the head temple of the Koyasan Shingon-Buddhism which has about 4,000 member temples in Japan. There are many buildings including main hall, the Okuden, Betsuden, Shoin, Bell Tower and Goma Ritual Hall. You can enter into the main hall and enjoy seeing Japanese rock gardens.
The Dai-Garan or Central Monastic Complex marks the location of the first buildings constructed at Koyasan. It is the center of the ritual life of the religious community, and together with Okunoin it is considered one of the holiest spots on the mountain.
The Great Stupa, the Kondo, eastern and western stupas, a shrine, Miedo hall are constructed on the ground. You can get into the inner hall of The Great Stupa and the Kondo.
Daimon: The Great Gate
This was originally the main entrance to the mountain. The present Daimon is a reconstruction dating from 1705. Two enormous wooden statues of the guardian deities Kongo-rikishi flanking the entrance were carved by the sculptors during the Edo period. From the mountain foot town Kudoyama to Okunoin, there are 216 Stone Markers (called “Choishi”) built every 100m apart.
Number of guests: up to 4 persons
Meeting Time: at 9:00am
Meeting Place: at your hotel
Dismissing Place: nearest station to your hotel
or at a bus stop near your inn (For those who stay at Shukubo)
Serving hours by the guide: 8 hours
28,000 JPY (up to 4 persons)
Transportation and entrance fee (you and the guide)
Lunch (Includes guide: About 1,500 Yen for each)
If you are interested in this tour, please send me an e-mail.
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