last updated June 16, 2005

koya san

Koyasan is the sacred mountain about an hour or so on the train south of Osaka. it's been holy for about 12 centuries, but then since it's a mountain I guess it's always had a fair bit of respect.

Koya is probably the ideal escape from Osaka - it's a dramatic train and funicular ride through the mountains to 800m, just over the border into Wakayama ken. Koya cho has more than 100 monasteries packed into an incredibly small space, and the weather is far, far cooler at this altitude. this is what also makes it a great cycle.

being a wednesday it was dead. so I visited the massive cemetery of Okunoin which seemed apt. it's a really special place - I remember stepping into it when I came in december on the bike and being in awe, but the light was fading and I had to head off. today all I did was wander its meandering paths in virtual solitude. the air was damp and cool with an almost west of scotland drizzle which was masked by the enormous trees. the light is really unusual as a result of being under the shade of these giants and the lanterns came on very early.

It's generally a very very natural place with ancient gravestones, but the more modern part of the graveyard has huge monoliths marking major corporations (dead workers? or just directors?). they're all there - Nissan, Yakult. quite bizzare looking. it looks like sponsorship in a way, which makes it feel quite natural. in a scary kind of a way.

anyway - a very relaxing way to spend a wednesday afternoon. some green tea, a few rice balls and a good sleep on the train home were just what the doctor ordered.

Posted by stupot at June 16, 2005 12:48 AM