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16 hits

  • Thumbnail for Shrine stairs with torii
    Shrine stairs with torii

    These stairs lead from the main street to a small shrine in the forest behind the houses visible to the right.

  • Thumbnail for Miniature bronze stupa
    Miniature bronze stupa

    Along the path to Okunoin there are many thousands of carvings and other pieces of religious art. This is a miniature bronze stupa.

  • Thumbnail for Private shrine
    Private shrine

    Another family shrine in the forest of Koyasan.

  • Thumbnail for Views enroute to Okunoin
    Views enroute to Okunoin

    One of many old stone images in the forest.

  • Thumbnail for Kannon statue in forest
    Kannon statue in forest

    Along the path to Okunoin are many graceful statues. This one is of the bodhisattva of compassion Kannon (Kuan-yin in China). It looks almost as if it were a curving tree itself.

  • Thumbnail for Main gate of Henjoko-in at Koyasan
    Main gate of Henjoko-in at Koyasan

    This is just one of hundreds of such massive entrance gates to a temple in the town of Koyasan.

  • Thumbnail for Family shrine in forest
    Family shrine in forest

    One of many, many shrines in the forest near Okunoin dedicated to the ancestors of a private family.

  • Thumbnail for Streetside stall selling religious decorations
    Streetside stall selling religious decorations

    Many such stalls in Koyasan sell evergreen fronds to people for embellishing their family altars at home where ancestors are revered. This one is in a spot very characteristic of Koyasan: the old stone wall behind and the line of toriis heading up a path to the left bespeak the charm of this old mountain town (founded in the early 9th century) with its limitless reminders of traditional religion.

  • Thumbnail for Plaque describing shrine for soldiers who died in World War Two.
    Plaque describing shrine for soldiers who died in World War Two.

    This plaque describes the full shrine visible in cocrejpn0143.

  • Thumbnail for Ichi no hashi bridge entrance to Oku-no-in
    Ichi no hashi bridge entrance to Oku-no-in

    This is the bridge marking the entrance to what is often called Japan's grandest -- both largest and most magnificent -- cemetery. A two kilometer (1.3 mile) stone path through an ancient cryptomeria forest leads to the tomb of Kukai (posthumously Kobo Daishi), founder of the Shingon school and the first to found a temple at Koyasan, in 817. Throughout the forest along both sides of the path, and often up and over small hills behind the trees, are thousands upon thousands of gravestones that have been built up around Kukai's tomb over the millenia.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine to soldiers who died in World War Two
  • Thumbnail for View from along path to Okunoin
    View from along path to Okunoin

    The path from Ichinohashi to Okunoin winds through massive trees, like the one on the left, and is lit by stone lanterns.

  • Thumbnail for Visitors enroute to Okunoin
    Visitors enroute to Okunoin

    The long path through the forest to Okunoin.

  • Thumbnail for Grave marker of mother
    Grave marker of mother

    Some of the grave stones surrounding Okunoin seem to depict either actual people or at least their idealized forms as ordinary social beings. Here we see a mother with children.

  • Thumbnail for Stairs in the forest
    Stairs in the forest

    The path to Okunoin is not always level. The shifting topography makes for a more pleasurable walk.

  • Thumbnail for Forest bridge in Koyasan