Koya-san (Mt. Koya) is surrounded by 1000m class mountains. Kukai, a Buddhist monk, established Koya-san as a central training area of Shingon Mikkyo in 816. Over 1200 years later, people can still continue to pray to Okunoin in the place where Kukai fell into deep meditation back in 853.

Before I went to Koya-san, I visited Kudoyama to see Niukan Shobu Jinja, a shrine which Kukai built before he started Koya-san.

It was not big as I expected, but I was so moved to see how Kukai respected Japanese original religions, thankful to be given the Koyasan area to establish Buddhist temples.

Jisonin

Jisonin

Stairs to Niukan Shobu Jinja from Jisonin

Stairs to Niukan Shobu Jinja from Jisonin

 

Niukan Shobu Jinja

Niukan Shobu Jinja

There are over one hundred hospice guesthouses at temples in Koya-san and I stayed at Ichijoin one night.

Ichijoin served very fine Shojin ryori, Buddhist cuisine using only vegetable ingredients. Each room has authentic furnishings. You can join a daily morning Buddhist religious service. It was really beautiful to see monks who were focused on praying.  

Ichijoin to stay in Koya-san

Ichijoin

IMG_8773

Drawing room

Entrance of Ichijoin

Entrance

Dining room

Dining room

Dinner at Ichijoin

Dinner

Breakfast at Ichijoin

Breakfast