Okunoin Cemetery Koyasan
Koya-san or Koyasan is a mountain located in Wakayam prefecture and in the center of the Shingo Buddhist sect introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi (see Ōsu Kannon – Nagoya), one of Japan’s most important religious figures. It was then natural that such an important and well-respected figure would have to rest in their own mausoleum : Okunoin.
While the mausoleum itself, like most other ones in Japan, is rather anticlimactic and where (for good reasons), cameras are not allowed, it is however the approach to Kobo Daishi mausoleum, the Okunoin cemetery that will probably amaze you the most.
With over 200,000 tombstones located pretty much everywhere along the approach to the mausoleum, the Okunoin cemetery comes straight out of one of those Japanese ghost stories with neglected moss-covered tombstones standing immune to the passing of time.
Magical, the Okunoin cemetery is at its best early in the morning or during a misty day where, if you are lucky enough, you will have the chance to hear the trees cracking under the pressure of the wind.