Koyasan Okunoin temple: the most sacred spot in Japan - Waku Waku

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Koyasan Okunoin temple: the most sacred spot in Japan

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Koyasan Okunoin temple: the most sacred spot in Japan

The stone tombs and the statues of gods standing over time lie quietly under the tall rustling trees up to hundreds of years old. Whoever visits here will get a sense of indescribable majesty.

Vy Nguyen

Vy Nguyen

Published on 23 Jun, 12:00

In the summer, the city of Kyoto, where I used to live, was quite hot and uncomfortable, so I looked for a new and peaceful place to "get away from the heat". A Japanese uncle that I knew happened to offer me a visit to Koya-san, one of Japan's most well-known Buddhist attractions and a favorite hangout spot for him and his wife due to its peaceful atmosphere.

It is not difficult to see pilgrims quietly looking up at the majestic Buddha statue, placing their hands together, and praying.
It is not difficult to see pilgrims quietly looking up at the majestic Buddha statue, placing their hands together, and praying.

Transport

From Kyoto, you can take the express train to Wakayama Station in the city center and continue by bus or train to Koya-san, which will take approximately 2 hours to arrive. You can also travel directly from Osaka or Kansai International Airport to Koya-san without going to Wakayama Station.

I like this atmosphere

As soon as arriving, I was extremely surprised by the fresh air here, like the feeling of traveling from Saigon to Dalat! I have to say that in the middle of the summer heat, that feeling of coolness was refreshing. Although there were many tourists, everyone kept quiet, perhaps because it is a sacred place.

The ancient temple entrance with stone lamps that have existed for many centuries. A great place if you want to take old Japan vibe pictures. 😉
The ancient temple entrance with stone lamps that have existed for many centuries. A great place if you want to take old Japan vibe pictures. 😉

Since we didn't have much time and the main purpose was to go for a walk in nature, we just took a stroll within the Okunoin area in the North of Koya-san. This is the mausoleum of Master Kobo Daishi, a highly respected monk who founded Shingon Buddhism in Japan. More specifically, according to legend, he is still resting in the mausoleum in a state of eternal meditation.

There are countless memorials under the majestic ancient trees, large and small, tinged with time.
There are countless memorials under the majestic ancient trees, large and small, tinged with time.

The road to Okunoin is paved in stone, flanked by many memorials for lost souls. The Japanese believe that their spirits will leave this world if they can be near Master Kobo. Therefore, it is a pleasure to have memorials placed here.

Close-up of a memorial stele. On the large stele is the name of the deceased with the family crest below (flower symbol).
Close-up of a memorial stele. On the large stele is the name of the deceased with the family crest below (flower symbol).