Day 37 京都-高野山

Slept in and repacked my luggage today before i made 4 transits to Koyasan.    

My super nice host gave me some farewell sweets and fetched me to the nearest station!! So sweet!! Funny how I usually give these things to my host in almost the same format. Must be nice receiving notes ^^   
Anyway, here begins my confusing transits to Koyasan. For this, i use google maps which has been helpful in cutting down the cost because some metros are just more expensive and it doesn’t make sense because it takes about the same time. So i took the Hankyu line and I transferred to the Nankai line and the timings for this are crazy confusing and inaccurate too.  

  
But them again, i made it. So the final stop was a ropeway up from Gokurakubashi which means bridge to oaradise, i think many will walk up the 24km to get to Koyasan but luggage girl is with luggage so I took the ropeway.

  

Apparently this is one of the steepest cable car routes in Japan and it brings us up 536m. Anyway, vantage points in Japan are really a thing, people really like it. 

Koyasan is an awesome decision i must say. The vibes here are lovely and it is so peaceful. Also, my host has been awesome in answering my endless questions about buddhism and shintoism. Though it is difficult to keep up with the sanskrit terms and japanese names, it has been awesome. I felt so blessed to have him bringing me around and answering my questions in english.

  

I must say, it is difficult to keep up with all these information in one day. Anyway, let me give you a general summary of Koyasan and what I remember from today. It is a temple town on top of a 800m high mountain and is the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism , which was introduced by Kobo Daishi. Apparently, the terrain of this mountain is supposed to resemble a lotus plant.

Shingon buddhism is one of the mainstream buddhism in Japan. It means true word 真言, which also translates as mantra. Kukai aka Odaishisama travelled to Tang China, Xi-an to acquire these teachings from his teacher Huiguo in Qing Long Shi.

The most important building will be the Konpon Daito and it is the tallest building in the Dai Garan. Many of these buildings were destroyed in the great fire in 1836. Though thr broshure says the fire was due to lightning, i was told that it was because of a candle that toppled over in a woman’s temple and that the dryness and string winds escalated the situation… Anyway, so most of the buildings here are rebuilt. 

There are two of these statues at the gate, one with the mouth open and one with the mouth closed. This represents the mouthing of the first and last letters of the sanskrit alphabet which symbolises the beginning and end. 

The stupa (pagoda) represents enlightment through the five different elements. At base, we see a square which represents earth. Followed by a sphere which represents water. Next would be the outline of triangles that represent fire. And the bells on the line represents the spreading of blessings for the 8 realms. On top of this, there is a crescent which represents air and the last will be the sun that represents air.

  
 Also, this year they are celebrating the 1200 year anniversary so they did some rennovations here and there. And the wooden pillar is saying some thing related.

   
This is the Fudodo and it is oone of the oldest building in Koyasan. The Fudo/Acala means the unmovable one.  He holds a sword in the right hand, and a handle in the left hand. Also, he has flaming nimbus behind him which supposed to represent the burning of anything that gets in the way of enlightment. 

 

 Also, Mandalas in Shingon buddhism has two realms: womb and diamond. The diamond realm represents the absolute truth and the womb realm represents the relative truth.

  

When you’re bowing to these statues, you are activating what the statue represents inside you. And when yiu bow, you learn to be humble.

Dragon princess pond. Helps with regulating the rain… 

 

After the information overload, we decided to grab a bite at this awesome izakaya. I think this is one of the best izakaya ever because the food here is amazing. It is super yummy. So, do visit this place if you ever come to Koyasan. 

  

Ask for tsukurimono for the freshest sashimi! Or osusume for today’s recommendation.    

Goya (bittergaud) with egg and tofu  

Chicken wings was very well done too.  

Chicken sashimi, Torisashi, with kimchi and raw egg. Omg this is so good. But only possible if it is good chicken. AMAZING.   

 And then there was fried cheese. So yummy omg??

Back to Futons tonight!  

And then we did movie night because I told him I have never watched fight club before.

  

These pudding stuff from the convenience store is DAMN AWESOME. I am not sure why i took one month to get t it. And the daily random 100 yen snack. Getting fat every second here but yes life is good.  

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