After Nara, we headed back to Osaka. Using another day off our Kansai Thru Pass (I love it! It’s so convenient!), which we bought another 2-day pass when we were in Kyoto, we did an impromptu day trip to Wakayama after depositing our quite-full luggage at our accommodation. Wakayama is located south of Osaka City. We took the train all the way South and then East to Koyasan. At the second last stop, all passengers who wanted to go on to the last station, which is Koyasan Station, had to get off and do a bit of walking to get on to the ropeway carriage.
Heh heh! You must be wondering what I’m talking about.
You see, Koyasan Station and Town is located up in the mountains, hence, to get to it, one has to take the vertical tram up. Being up in the mountains, it was definitely a few degrees cooler than down at sea level, as if it was still Spring despite it being mid June.
Travel tip: With the Kansai Thru Pass, one can also take the local buses around the town. Just show your pass to the driver when you go up the bus.
Based on what I noticed and read from the free information leaflet, Koyasan is a Buddhist spiritual retreat area and a National Park since a long time ago. There are so many trees, shrines, temples, and retreat houses there.
If you wish to do a Buddhist meditation/retreat there, please refer to your own trusty guidebook, or type Koyasan on the World Wide Web.
We went to see one of the famous Temple there. In the complex, there were many graves and mausoleums of famous Japanese located among the gigantic trees. Tour groups led by locals to see the final resting places of famous Japanese, or groups of Buddhist pilgrims visiting the temples. The feeling is difficult to put into words as I walked next to the graves. The closest I could say is that it was peaceful, despite the knowledge that I was walking among the dead. I guess it was the serenity provided by the towering trees, some were as old as 400 years, or even older! The food sold in town were mainly vegetarian dishes. I can’t recall whether the prices were stated on the boards outside the establishments. (I didn’t eat there as we had brought some snacks.)
[Photos are at the end.]
What else to share? There are still some parts of Osaka I did not manage to cover, such as Osaka Castle, Shin-Osaka area, Namba area, among many others. I will be drawing up a list of places to cover on my next trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. Hee!
I hope my tips have been useful to you. Please feel free to leave me some qualitative comments or questions. Thanks for reading! 😀
[1. On the train up the mountains.]
[2. The ropeway.]
[3. Almost vertical ascend.]
[4. Koyasan – 867m above]
[5. Tall, tall trees]
[6. Local tour groups]