We spent a day at Koyasan, south of Osaka, in the mountains (altitude 900m) where we were happy to have given little wool and tights.
Koyasan is a set of monasteries dedicated to the study and practice of Buddhism.
As in Europe, the monks are isolated from the bustle of the world. To get there, we must take five trains from Osaka, a funicular and a bus … (for trains, okay, there was a micro missed, but nothing serious: we took lots of train instead of taking the direct train).
Japanese do not seem to build on the Mountain: the houses stop with the plain and Koyasan is a plateau.
After what Jazzy had said in a comment, I was very afraid of being cold.
On arrival, we went to put our business in the monastery where we were staying. We left the big suitcases to the set to Kyoto Station, and it was very nice to travel light.
A friendly monk greeted us in a little shaky English, but we understood.
Our room was covered with traditional tatami and we had already had to take off our shoes to enter the monastery. But again, the slippers left behind the sliding doors of paper. After leaving the bags, we go to visit.
Interlude of Xim: We arrived around 15h and we did not eat lunch, caught in the train sequence. So we visit, certainly, but also identifies restaurants.
Xim and Lo made beautiful pictures of different temples, so be ready for a slide evening. Mine can only make a very meager glimpse of reality.
The atmosphere was really great: a little drizzle falling from the sky, mist shrouded mountains and tall trees sprang to conquer the sky.
And above all, we were alone.
All this beauty to ourselves.
We started our walk in the cemetery as the day began to fall, the stone lanterns illuminating the passage to the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, through more than 200,000 graves.
It was really a great time.
Back, a thing is obvious: all the restaurants open to the aisle are now closed. So we fell back on the family market (?) of the corner to find food.
Back to the monastery in the dark night: 19h30.
Quick, quick: the pool is only open until 21h.
The bath is traditional, that is to say, the undressing in a locker room where his business is left in baskets, and you shower in the communal bath (chaste, abstaining) and once clean, we can immerse ourselves in the common giant tub (I said though it’s got mixed).
When the head turns, it’s time to get out: the water is hot.
We let us dry, then put our yukata, and then back into the room, facing the stairs of death with the slippers of great peril.
Will it be really cold? The room is equipped with an alcohol stove, effective, but it takes off. On the futon, he is good, “quilts” are hot. It just should not get out arm: it will immediately freeze.
In fact, it is currently the best night I spent in Japan, even though I was awakened by the Bell monks at 4am.
And we woke up at 6 am to attend a morning prayer. Two monks were helding the “service” chanting sutras. We even got to sing along (thanks to the God of photocopies). The oldest monks us to talk about meditation, postures, but the youngest was hard to translate. Lô recorded everything, so we will ask our Japanese teacher…
The breakfast was plentiful, to the delight of Xim with vegan dishes (we are at the Buddhists).
After a last step in Koyasan, sunny this time, we hit the road (or rather the rail) to Tokyo via Kyoto to baggage claim.