Monday, July 01, 2013

Mountain monastery

image by Southworth Sailor
image, a photo by Southworth Sailor on Flickr.

The morning began with a quick rise and off to Osaka to meet Sassa who took an overnight bus to meet us. We then caught a train to the remote mountain town of Koyasan, filled with historic temples and monasteries. It was a very scenic train ride as we moved from urban to rural to mountains. The final leg was a steep cable car. Calvin's planning and reservations once again brought us to a unique experience. We have two large rooms with tatami floor and futons, vegetarian dinner and breakfast. The monks are very young and helpful. After settling in, we went to a ramen shop and then strolled through the gigantic cemetery under giant cedars. The monuments were quite spectacular as well as the Torodo temple. On the other end of town we saw the Kongobuji temple with complimentary tea. The highlight of the evening was the vegetarian meal prepared by the monastery. Everything from seaweed to sesame tofu and far beyond, our palette's experience was enjoyed by all. An evening stroll through the lamplit cemetery ended a special day.

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