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.
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.
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.
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.
This site appears to be dedicated to a family as well as to a corporation.
This is a corporate site.
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.
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.
Ranks of red banners flank the CCP insignia over the entry to the National Museum complex on the east side of tiananmen Square.
Across the bridge and down the path we can see visitors gathered at the foot of the stairs to Kobo Daishi's mausoleum.
tiananmen Square, including the Mao Mausoleum and Monument to the People's Heroes, seen looking south across Chang An avenue.
Street in northwest Beijing's Haidian district during autumn afternoon.
Bicycle commuters stream past the entrance to a Beijing subway station during afternoon rush hour.
Day trippers climb the Western Hills (Xishan) northwest of Beijing.
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.
A family of three enjoys a chairlift ride in the Fragrant Hills northwest of Beijing on an autumn weekend.
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.
Workers hawk an orange soda drink on a sidewalk in Shanhaiguan, northeast of Beijing.
A small child in fur jacket and hat sits on the railing lining the Long Corridor (Changlang) at the Summer Palace in northwest Beijing