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ninjutsu dojo links / lodging in Koyasan


Iga-Ueno / Koyasan 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / LODGING IN KOYASAN / Passing Through

While in Japan we stayed at this Shingon monastery and temple in Koyasan, which is the center of the Shingon sect of Japanese esoteric Buddhism, or Mikkyo. The flat-topped Mt. Koya has more than 120 temples, carrying on a tradition from 816 A.D.------------- Information on lodging in Koyasan HERE
It was a wonderful old place that fit well with all of our ideas of old Japan. The photo on the left shows the front gate of the temple. They close those gates at sunset, but we found a way out through a "secret" monk's door. To the right is the front entry of the monastery itself. Most of the temples on Mt. Koya have areas where tourists may stay. Normally the tourists are Japanese, and stay just one night. I'm afraid our stay of many days was strange to the monks there (but then WE were strange, too).  
Also living in the Shingon monastary was a Zen monk. I was never sure if he was there for some other purpose or if the Shingon monks just thought that Westerners would be of the Zen school and somehow accidently made reservations at the wrong sort of monastary. He was quite the character, though, and since Zen monks always wear sandals and it was cold out, he'd often come into the area when we were dining, roll onto the floor and hold his bare feet up to the portable heater. This is calligraphy from Fukuchi-In. I should explain that at most Buddhist and Shinto temples monks will write out the temple name and put all of the various red stamps associated with the temple or shrine. You can buy blank books with rice-paper pages (accordian-folded) to have written upon. Often pilgrims will have the calligraphy put directly on their white pilgrim jackets.

 One of the areas inside the temple.

 This is a typical sleeping room.

At Fukuchi-in we were expected to bathe before meals. One of the things we had to get used to were the yukata, or cotton robes we were supposed to don after our bath and to dinner. We soon found that, given the difficulty we all had sitting in the seiza position for any length of time, we ended up cross-legged and trying to maintain modesty! The left photo is dinner, the right shows a breakfast meal.
. . . The baths were very enjoyable, however, especially the herbal one! And in case you are wondering, no, they were NOT co-educational! Speaking only for myself and some of the other females on the trip, we did often feel like rather large pink lobsters around the small golden Japanese women tourists who also used the baths.
.....Below left, you see some of our group eating one of the elaborate meals prepared and served by the monks.


Above left are some of the monks getting the dishes arranged on the tables. You see a dinner meal to the right.

Iga-Ueno / Koyasan 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / Passing Through