First a taxi, then a fast train, then a slow train, then a train that gets split in two part way through the journey, then an inclined train and finally a bus. This is what it took for us to arrive at the Ekoin, a temple stay in the town of Koyasan.

I must say we are a bit shocked as we were expecting a roughish experience, the town reminds us of Jasper, or Banff in its early days. There are even tour buses on the main road. Unfortunately, this is a money making tourist stop. The monks here don’t live a cloistered, meager existence.

Koyasan, Japan

Our accommodation is fairly nice, not rough at all. Japanese style rooms with futons, shared bathrooms, onsens, and gorgeous views. Heaters in the rooms, which is wonderful as it is chilly outside.

Koyasan, Japan

There are multiple shrines in the area along with a couple of very prominent ones. The draw is the Okunoin Cemetery which is 1200 years old. According to legend no one is dead in Okunoin, only waiting souls. The 2 km walk through the grounds is packed with grave markers, monuments, statues and headstones. It is late afternoon and the light makes it an eerie walk.

Koyasan, Japan

It is pouring rain. Our umbrellas keep our torsos dry but our feet and pant bottoms are getting soaked. Fortunately, L has our adjoined room toasty warm when we get back from our walk. We have set up our shoes and pants are drying in front of the heater. Should be good to go tomorrow morning.

Supper is a vegetarian meal, as befitting the temple guidelines, and Murray actually manages to eat a substantial amount of the offerings. I am supposed to go to the onsen, but now that my tummy is full and I am warm, I do not want to move out of my cozy den. May just go to sleep……

Koyasan, Japan
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