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  • Thumbnail for Views enroute to Okunoin
    Views enroute to Okunoin

    One of many old stone images in the forest.

  • Thumbnail for Famous three-in-one tree on path to Okunoin
  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Main gate
  • Thumbnail for Before Kobo Daishi's shrine
    Before Kobo Daishi's shrine

    The actual small shrine where Kobo Daishi's body was placed is behind the large mausoleum. These visitors stand between the mausoleum and the shrine while facing the shrine, which is to the right in this photo. The man in the white jacket is the guide, who tells them about the history of the shrine and instructs them how to pray, which they all subsequently do. In front of the shrine, there are always many fresh flowers donated by the faithful.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Circle of rope leading to main shrine building
    Ikuta Jinja - Circle of rope leading to main shrine building

    The explanation of this uncommon structure is not legible. All that I know is that this rope is made of miscanthus reed, which is common for tradtional thatching in Japan, and that a banner at the main gate of the shrine announces that this "miscanthus circle" is part of a festival.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Woman praying before main shrine hall
    Ikuta Jinja - Woman praying before main shrine hall

    After clapping her hands, ringing the bell and bowing up closer to the hall, in the traditional manner, this young woman backed up several steps and stood with her head bowed for many minutes while facing the shrine.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine to local Kami in Garan
    Shrine to local Kami in Garan

    This Shinto-style shrine stands in the heart of the Garan complex and reflects the importance of the traditions of worship dedicated to the "local" deity of the mountain. It appears that Kukai revered these "kami" deeply and this reverence continues via regular rituals today.

  • Thumbnail for Family and corporate gravesite
    Family and corporate gravesite

    This site appears to be dedicated to a family as well as to a corporation.

  • Thumbnail for Rocket memorial
    Rocket memorial

    This is a corporate site.

  • Thumbnail for Path from Kongobuji to the Garan complex
  • Thumbnail for Corner view of Kobo Daishi's mausoleum
  • Thumbnail for Another Jizo
  • Thumbnail for Pouring water on Jizo statue
    Pouring water on Jizo statue

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Mound of Buddha images
    Mound of Buddha images

    In front of the Jizo is an offering box in which faithful can place coins to be used to maintain various features of the Okunoin area.

  • Thumbnail for Museum complex façade
    Museum complex façade

    Ranks of red banners flank the CCP insignia over the entry to the National Museum complex on the east side of tiananmen Square.

  • Thumbnail for View from Tamagawa bridge
    View from Tamagawa bridge

    Across the bridge and down the path we can see visitors gathered at the foot of the stairs to Kobo Daishi's mausoleum.

  • Thumbnail for tiananmen Square
    tiananmen Square

    tiananmen Square, including the Mao Mausoleum and Monument to the People's Heroes, seen looking south across Chang An avenue.

  • Thumbnail for Beijing street scene
    Beijing street scene

    Street in northwest Beijing's Haidian district during autumn afternoon.

  • Thumbnail for Beijing Subway Station
    Beijing Subway Station

    Bicycle commuters stream past the entrance to a Beijing subway station during afternoon rush hour.

  • Thumbnail for Western Hills
    Western Hills

    Day trippers climb the Western Hills (Xishan) northwest of Beijing.

  • Thumbnail for Jizo
  • Thumbnail for Don't Spit Please!
    Don't Spit Please!

    Weather-beaten sign on a Haidian district wall asking passersby not to spit. Expectoration was the target of public health authorities in the 1980s and beyond.

  • Thumbnail for Fragrant Hills weekenders
    Fragrant Hills weekenders

    A family of three enjoys a chairlift ride in the Fragrant Hills northwest of Beijing on an autumn weekend.

  • Thumbnail for Da Li Machine works billboard
    Da Li Machine works billboard

    Billboard for Beijing's Da Li Machine works (formerly Beijing Parts and Equipment Plant) depicts the cabled arm of a giant red machine spiraling towards the sun, touting the virtues of Da Li products for pipeline maintenance and breach occlusion.

  • Thumbnail for Shanhai guan pop stand
    Shanhai guan pop stand

    Workers hawk an orange soda drink on a sidewalk in Shanhaiguan, northeast of Beijing.