After lunch, we made our way to the other end of Koyasan, stopping first at the Danjo Garan. According to legend, Kobo Daishi threw his sankosho from his China toward Japan when he was studying, and found it stuck in a pine tree in Koyasan. They started construction on the Garan nearby and the pine tree still grows there today.
The entire complex is beautiful and awe inspiring. I am a big a fan of the huge, very orange Konpon Daito.
Tim was particularly taken with the Rokkaku Kyozo (hexagonal depository of the scriptures) which once held the complete Buddhist scriptures copied in gold ink on blue paper.
We visited later in the day so Tim could spend some time drawing and I could take photos.
We walked further up towards the Daimon gate and spotted our home away from home – Family Mart. In Sydney, Tim and Jarrod like to go to a Korean style coffee shop called Tom N Toms to eat piles of honey butter bread, so Tim was thrilled to find packaged HBB that we stopped to enjoy with some hot BOSS coffee.
As we approached Daimon gate, Tim let out an audible “Whoa!”. I think I had forgotten how imposing it was.
In the afternoon it started to get cold – really, really cold. When we arrived back at our lodging (Jimyo-in) a monk showed us to our room. We shuffled in, shivering and clutching our arms while he served tea, explained dinner and the onsen.
The room was beautiful. I was unable to fully appreciate the beauty at the time because I had just met the new love of my life, Kotatsu-san.
I was familiar with the concept of kotatsu (My cats in neko atsume have one). I just hadn’t realised the significant impact kotatsu could have on your life if you’re as fond of blanket weather as I am. Probably even if you aren’t. It was like the most amazing warm embrace from a welcoming and comfortable best friend. Like Kif, but furniture. Furniture that I am in love with. An immobile furniture version of my fattest cat that I am in love with.
I was briefly separated from my beloved when the monk returned to our room at 6pm to serve dinner.