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? 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. Koya 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.It was rainy when we arrived… rainy and mysterious :-) Our room was a beautiful tatami room!We 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.In 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. The ceder trees were gigantic!There were little statues everywhere!
And people leaving coins Some graves were very, very old: But there were also very new and creative ones!: Koya is a very mysterious place, not everything you see there you understand. Like these gravestones in the water:Some statues are very strange like these:This one was covered in makeup and had lipgloss offerings:
There was one very spectacular temple that was completely filled with lanterns. completely filled!Rows and rows and rows of lanterns, very spectacular. The other temples were also very impressive:
We ate a very beautiful tofu dish!Some cherryblossoms were still blooming when we were leaving and looking back from the train.Koya was such a peaceful and relaxing experience for us :-)