Mt Koyo

Getting to Mt Koyo from Nara took a taxi, two different trains, a cable car, and a bus. Mt Koyo itself is kind of like Arlington National Cemetery and Westminster Abbey rolled into one, a bit more user-friendly than either—there’s real popular connection to the cemetaries and temples in the park here—and bordered by a resort town. People come to this place on pilgrimage, but it is also kind of a place to play.

Shukubu Ekoin © Harold Davis

Shukubu Ekoin © Harold Davis

I am staying in a temple guesthouse for pilgrims. In many ways it is very nice. This kind of place is called a Shukubu. Combining things that are more in my normal experience in order to describe it, it is part youth hostel and part resort hotel, with everyone sleeping on the floor in rooms divided by paper screen partitions, guided meditations morning and night, and pretty gardens.

A cold rain has been falling for most of the day, and the trick has been to stay warm and dry. Paper walls do not make for great insulation! If you are interested, this Shukubu heats with kerosene (yes, it smells bad), and also with a secret electric heater under the low table for one’s feet. I hope the rain stops by tomorrow when I will be walking on the Kumano kodo trail!

This entry was posted in Japan, Photography.

6 Trackbacks

  1. By Bus train taxi ferry taxi train on November 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    […] in Nachi-san, most visitors arrive by scheduled bus, or by tour bus. Like Lourdes in France, or Mt Koya in Japan, Nachi-san is a destination for religious tourists, almost all of whom are Japanese. The constant […]

  2. By Curated—A Different Version of Harold Davis on March 21, 2014 at 9:27 am

    […] Shin-Imamiya, I was traveling via a series of local trains in central Japan on my way between the monastery guesthouse in Mt Koyo and hiking the Kumano kodo. I changed trains at the Shin-Imamiya Station on the outskirts of […]

  3. By Nachi-san on September 22, 2014 at 10:08 am

    […] in Nachi-san, most visitors arrive by scheduled bus, or by tour bus. Like Lourdes in France, or Mt Koya in Japan, Nachi-san is a destination for religious tourists, almost all of whom are Japanese.” […]

  4. By Pilgrimage to Rocamadour on October 21, 2014 at 8:22 am

    […] struck by how similar the concept of ritual, religious tourism is centers in Japan such as Koya-san and Nachi-san. Although undoubtedly the stone-bound setting from medieval France is far more […]

  5. By Views of Japan on June 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    […] The somewhat bleak courtyard shown next is in Koya-san, where I stayed for a couple of rainy autumn days as a guest in a monastery. […]

  6. By Japanese Monastery Courtyard on December 22, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    […] is a photograph of the garden courtyard of a Shikubu (guesthouse) in a monastery in Mt Koya Japan in autumn. There’s no place like Japan, and when I am away […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*