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  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Map of shrine
    Ikuta Jinja - Map of shrine

    This map of the shrine compound is erected near the entrance.

  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Plaque before enshrined tree
    Ikuta Jinja - Plaque before enshrined tree

    This plaque in front of the tree with the himorogi says that the tree was over 500 years old when it was severely injured by burns received in the bombing of Kobe during WWII. However, even though shattered, it managed to stay alive, and so became revered as a symbol of rebirth and resuscitation. The plaque refers to it as a "divine (kami) tree."

  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Community relations at Minatogawa Jinja
    Minatogawa Jinja - Community relations at Minatogawa Jinja

    Here shrine priests accompany a local business man to his car after emerging from the shrine's administrative building. Local businesses are often the greatest benefactors of a shrine. No doubt many business leaders believe that their relation to the shrine may help their business to prosper.

  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Torii within compound
    Minatogawa Jinja - Torii within compound

    This white torii stands on the main pathway of the shrine, about halfway between the main gate and the main shrine hall

  • Thumbnail for Bridge in Okunoin
    Bridge in Okunoin

    One of the paths in Okunoin passes over a stream.

  • Thumbnail for Temple gate
    Temple gate

    One of the many temple gates on the main street in Koyasan.

  • Thumbnail for View of the bathing statues from the Tamagawa bridge
  • Thumbnail for View through trees enroute to Okunoin
  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Main gate
  • Thumbnail for Tiananmen Square
    Tiananmen Square

    View looking eastward across Tiananmen Square to Tiananmen (The Gate of Heavenly Peace), with Mao portrait and signs reading "Long live the Communist Party of China" [left] and "Long Live The Great Unification of the People of the World"

  • Thumbnail for The Miedo Hall in the Garan
    The Miedo Hall in the Garan

    The Miedo, meaning "Hall of the Honorable Portrait," houses an ancient portrait of Kukai, Koyasan's ninth century founder, said to have been painted by his disciple.

  • Thumbnail for Temple meal
    Temple meal

    This meal includes, on the left tray: tofu made from sesame dressed in wasabi and soy sauce; tempura fried vegetables, noodles in broth and several kinds of pickle. On the right tray is: plate with tofu, pumpkin, lotus root and other vegetables; roasted eggplant basted with a light and a dark miso (fermented soy) paste; tiny mountain vegetables in a vinegar dressing with a dried plum; watermelon. The meal comes with plenty of rice and tea. Sake and beer are also available.

  • Thumbnail for Pilgrims in front of the Great Pagoda
    Pilgrims in front of the Great Pagoda

    The Great Pagoda (Daito) is the most striking structure within the Garan complex in the western central part of Koyasan. The pagoda stands over 150 feet tall (48.5 meters). These pilgrims, who travel as a group in their white garb and are accompanied by priests in black robes, pray before the entrance of the pagoda toward the huge Buddha images inside.

  • Thumbnail for Kongobuji Temple
    Kongobuji Temple

    This temple complex is the headquarters for the Koyasan Shingon denomination. The founder Kukai seems to have built a structure in this location back in the 9th century; the present buiding is only a few centuries old. Next door to the temple is a cluster of more modern looking buildings that houses the administrative center for the denomination, which has branch temples all throughout Japan.

  • Thumbnail for Temple with cars
    Temple with cars

    This is the front gate at one of the many temples in Koyasan. Centuries ago there may have been horsecarts or rickshaws inside the courtyard but today we see only cars.

  • Thumbnail for Mound of Jizo statues
    Mound of Jizo statues

    This monument is made of thousands of small statues of the deity Jizo, who specializes in helping the souls of children who died prematurely.

  • 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 Street shrine
    Street shrine

    This small shrine on a street corner is typical of many one finds on urban as well as rural streets in Japan.

  • Thumbnail for Mound of Buddhas
    Mound of Buddhas

    This is the same mound in other photos viewed here from a distance.

  • Thumbnail for Bronze statues of Jizo and other deities
    Bronze statues of Jizo and other deities

    Near the main shrine at Okunoin people stop to pray before, and pour water over, these Buddhist images.

  • 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 National Museum complex
    National Museum complex

    Built in 1958 on the eastern edge of tiananmen Square, the 69,000 sq. m. National Museum Building (Bowuguan daxia) houses both the Museum of Chinese History (Zhongguo lishi bowuguan) and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution (Zhongguo geming bowuguan).

  • Thumbnail for Jizo statues
    Jizo statues

    Just two of thousands of these little statues along the path to Okunoin.

  • Thumbnail for Beijing street scene
    Beijing street scene

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

  • Thumbnail for Jizo statues in Okunoin