Just to add a few things to Joel’s post.
On the way to Koyasan we passed some beautiful tree lined valleys and hills, we could see tall Bamboo near the track and further away tall trees growing up the hill / mountain side.
In the graveyard area it was so peaceful with a feeling of everything having been there for a long time. Large mats of Moss grew around trees and most older monuments and markers had some growing on them. The only thing to spoil this was some of the gaudy new monuments that have been added recently.
As we walked through the grounds we could see several corporations had large monuments in place, and we wondered if they were added more for their employees or for public image.
During the walk there were lots of statues of monks around the graves. Many of these had been dressed in an apron and people place 1 and 5 yen coins on them.
We saw one section that was to commemorate lives lost by Australian and Japanese forces in WW2,
Just before the main temple their was a rest area that provided free self service tea. It was brewed in a massive pot, one of 3 built into a brick oven. You used a ladle to pour yourself some and then washed the cup when you were finished.
At Kongobu-ji temple we had a mini tea service with a rice biscuit and some pre-made tea. Not quite what we were expecting but it was nice.
Surrounding part of the buildings is a rock garden, the largest in Japan. We could only see part of it from the corridors and verandas we were on, and with the sun setting we couldn’t get many good shots but it looked interesting.
- In the morning Joel discovered the charging cable he brought for his shaver does not actually fit it, so he is either going to be trying the hotel provided razor or growing a beard.
- Joel and I have been mentioning making panoramas. We are playing with a free program from Microsoft called ICE. It allows us to take several overlapping photos of an area and it will automatically join them all together. Usually with fairly good results. Below are some of the train ride home.