Arriving at Koya-san is an experience in itself. We were fortunate enough to travel to this amazing place in a minibus along the road that runs parallel to the fast-flowing River Nyu, through the mountains, up to the town itself.
Mount Koya is actually a mountain range of eight mountains with Koya-san, the town, encircled by these natural beauties. Kukai, the Buddhist monk that founded Koya -san, chose this site because of the mountains and how each point collectively represented the lotus flower, with the town at the centre.
Mount Koya is officially the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism and has over 100 temples that you can visit and even stay in for there are no hotels in here at all.
As we entered into one of the temples, our guides and friends from Kinokuni Children’s Village school asked me if I wanted an audio guide that was available.
I explained to them that I wanted to learn with my eyes rather than my ears, and the factual knowledge about the place could be sought at a later date.
Hence, recovering from the time-zone changes, I now find myself using the World Wide Web to do just that.
Knowledge is a beautiful thing, but to dilute the pleasures of the physical senses and the metaphysical journey by being at a place of such magnificence, and then spending the time there reading or hearing about it rather than absorbing all silently and observantly, seems to me unnecessary.
You can learn more about Mount Koya from a simple Google search. You can look at the photographs that we post on this blog, and all of this is hopefully a commendable and worthwhile use of your time.
But it does not take you there in mind, body and soul in the way that walking around and experiencing the place does, and did for us.
We are indeed fortunate souls.
Kukai stated that there were ten stages of consciousness, whereby we all journey from immaturity and animal instinct through to self-enlightenment, then to embrace the concern for others, right along to the understanding and living oneness, emptiness and the ultimate truth.
What an incredible journey if we manage this in a lifetime.
We hope you enjoy our series of photographs from the incredibly serene and spiritual place.