Visible in the background is a small hill of Jizo statues, seen close up in photo 168.
Just two of thousands of these little statues along the path to Okunoin.
This is the same structure as in cocrejpn0163.
Near the end of the path to Okunoin, just prior to crossing the last bridge before going up to Kukai's mausoleum, there is a line of statues with water troughs in front of them. Vistors pour water over the statues as an act of devotion. This ritual action shares something both with the cleansing of the mouth prior to entering a Shinto shrine, where the same sort of ladle and trough is used, as well as the cleansing of ancestral gravestones that is practiced in August during the Obon season.
I cannot recall what this shrine is for but it resembles others at Koyasan that embody the religious architectural conventions of Southeast Asia and so is likely dedicated to the many soldiers, Japanese and local, who lost their lives there during World War Two.
The marker to the right announces that this is the grave of the Toyotomi family (and that it is an historical landmark). The family refers to the descendants of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the great general who unified Japan after a long civil war just prior to the lengthy peace of the stable Tokugawa (or Edo) Period around 1600.
The pillar to the left designates the small hall behind the tree as one dedicated to some practices of the Shingon school.
The guide (arms up in green shirt) leads a tour through the forest path enroute to Okunoin.
Many of the centuries-old structures in the forest enroute to Okunoin are crumbling. Some of the more prominent ones close to the pathway are being restored.
A standing statue of Jizo, who may not be as tall as the trees but he is ever so graceful.
This shape is common to the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism and reflects its doctrines. The five geometric shapes of this stupa-like grave stone signify the five elements shared by all living things (from bottom to top, cube, sphere, pyramid, hemisphere, drop): earth, water, fire, air and space. Each of these elements has its own "seed" syllable or mantra, that is carved into the stone here in its Sanskrit form.
Another view enroute to Okunoin.
This old shrine must have been dedicated to the ancestors of a family. It also has the torii entrance.
One of thousands of statues of Jizo, the merciful deity who is commonly entreated to assist children who have died young, especially even prior to birth. These statues are often dressed in caps and aprons. This clothing is sometimes placed there by a bereaved mother, or sometimes by any warm-hearted person who happens to be fond of keeping little Jizo neatly dressed.