Koyasan

We left Kyoto and after making the train route, through small valleys and take a cable car in the final stretch, we reached a small plateau at the top of Mount Koya where the center of esoteric Buddhism is placed. This is where twelve centuries ago the priest Kukai (Kobo Daishi) founded the headquarters of the Shingon sect, a faith with numerous followers in Japan.

Kukai was born in the province of Sanuki (Kagawa). He was the third son of a Buddhist family. At 15 he went to Kyoto. Later, at the University where he studied the history and the Chinese classics. Discouraged by the formal education he was receiving, he decided to devote his time to prayer and study of esoteric Buddhism.

After 2 years in China, in 816, Kukai went to the mountain of Koya and began construction of a center of esoteric Buddhism.

Today Koyasan is a sacred area consists of numerous temples and pagodas that receive visitors and believers from around the world. In 2004 it was named UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a place of pilgrimage for thousands of believers.

Koyasan is worth visiting and staying in one of his temples that offer Shukubo (accommodation).

Here time has stopped, we can enjoy the ancient traditions of Japanese religious life and forget the present. The monks invite you to participate in prayer and enjoy the food prepared vegetarian, shojin-ryori, served by the younger monks.

In most Shukubo only Japanese is spoken. However, Rengejo-in, in one of  is spoken. However, in Rengejo-in, one of the first templesyou can find when entering Koyasan, also English is spoken.

During dinner, the mother and widow of the former Master Monk and founder of the temple, sitting in Japanese way during the diner, narrates the fascinating history of Koyasan and Regenjo-in.Okuno-in is the cemetery-temple of Koyasan. Here Kobo Daishi is buried, people believe that he is not dead but merely resting in hisgrave until the arrival of Miroku (the future Buddha). From the eleventh century until today, the Japanese Buddhist lay hair or ashes 

of their deceased relatives near the tomb of Kobo Daishi to be near him when he wakes up in order to among the first when Kukai and Buddha return to the world.

After crossing the bridge Ichi-no-hashi you enter the cemeteryby a cobblestone road. Among the most interesting graves and monumentsthere is a monument to the White Ant built by a company of pesticides in repentance for the tiny insects killed. A spacecraft in honor of an astronaut, and of course the Toro-do that is the main building with the mausoleum of Kukai.



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