A Buddhist break

Before we were going to start with all the stress of moving and packing and saying goodbye etc. we decided to take a nice and peaceful break. And what would be better than a Buddhist break?Koya2017-30 So we traveled all the way south to mount Koya, which is a secluded mountain village that consists of hundreds of Buddhist temples around a monastery that was founded as early as 819. Koya2017-57Koya is a destination of the famous pilgrim route through Japan, and the temples there provide lodging for these pilgrims. But guess what, as a non-pilgrim you can lodge at these temples as well! So that is what we did.Koya2017-13It was rainy when we arrived… rainy and mysterious :-) Our room was a beautiful tatami room!Koya2017-14Koya2017-15We had dinner and breakfast in the temple. We ate a Buddhist meal, so it was all vegetarian and extremely delicious. We sat in our own compartment in a huge tatami room.Koya2017-16In the morning we got up at 6:00 to join the morning ceremony. It lasted for about an hour and was really impressive, with prayers and rituals. After the ceremony we went out to explore Koya. Koya has a huge and very old cemetery, and it was beautiful to walk around there. Koya2017-35 Koya2017-21Koya2017-23The ceder trees were gigantic!Koya2017-32There were little statues everywhere! Koya2017-24Koya2017-38Koya2017-37

Koya2017-39And people leaving coinsKoya2017-40 Koya2017-29Some graves were very, very old:Koya2017-44Koya2017-45 Koya2017-25But there were also very new and creative ones!:Koya2017-43 Koya2017-46Koya is a very mysterious place, not everything you see there you understand. Like these gravestones in the water:Koya2017-42Some statues are very strange like these:Koya2017-27This one was covered in makeup and had lipgloss offerings:

Koya2017-34There was one very spectacular temple that was completely filled with lanterns. completely filled!Koya2017-41Rows and rows and rows of lanterns, very spectacular. The other temples were also very impressive:
Koya2017-51 Koya2017-54Koya2017-53 Koya2017-60Koya2017-55We ate a very beautiful tofu dish!Koya2017-58Some cherryblossoms were still blooming when we were leaving and looking back from the train.Koya2017-61Koya was such a peaceful and relaxing experience for us :-)