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The Largest Graveyard: Okunoin, Part I

Posted on 26 March 2012

Travel Date: 1 November 2010
Location: Okunoin, Mt Koya

In order to get to Okunoin (奥の院) – the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi (Kukai) and the Lantern Hall (Torodo), one first has to go through the graveyard around it – about 2km long (one way), the biggest one in Japan.


The idea of walking in between so many tombstones (200,000 of them, I heard) may sound quite disturbing for some, however it was the most awesome Mt Koya experience for me. In the rain, the atmosphere was nothing but peaceful.

Tranquil is probably the best word to describe how I felt.

Ezaki Glico's grave. Yeap, the company that makes Pocky.

The doors remind me of Alice in the Wonderland for some reason

A lovely statue

Saw a little path leads to somewhere in the forest and decided to be adventurous. Although it's raining, it's cold, it's dark, and not a human on sight. It was fun.

On the other side of the forest, met a fiery red tree among the greens

At the split path, I met a few French asking for direction. Well they got the wrong person, instead I ask them to help me to take this photo :P

Graveyard of Panasonic Corporation ^^"

The best thing happened when I almost reach the end of the path: I bumped into the full bloom autumn foliage of a shrine nearby. For someone who born and raised in a tropical country, this was my very first time seeing so many red and yellow leaves – it was so over-overwhelmingly beautiful.

The red

The yellow. Ginkgo is so gorgeous!

Rain's stopping too at this point of time :)

Yet another happy day

Beautiful gradient

Pouring water on every one of these for blessings

I find it quite creepy that people stuck some coins in the tree rings after an ancient tree is chopped off

On my way back, a lovely evening

There’s no photo from the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi and the Lantern Hall itself as food & drinks, along with photography are forbidden in the area. What I can say is, the Lantern Hall is pretty amazing as well. Am so glad that I came to Mt Koya. :)

Well, this post probably marks the most-photos-in-a-post so far. Fear not, there’s part II! ^^”

How To Get There

  • It’s 5 min walk from Eko-in (恵光院). Should be very close to Ichi no Hashiguchi (一の橋口) bus stop.

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