November 9, 2013

A Stroll through Koya

Koya, a town in Wakayama Prefecture that is situated about 1,000 meters above sea level.

In general, it is the north part of Japan that sees fall come the earliest, but since Koya sits so high on the mountains, it was around 8 degrees Celsius cooler than Tokyo.

The town itself is quite compact, and has a population of around 3,500. Due to its history as the headquarters of the Shingon Buddhists, the main street is lined with temple after temple, many of which welcome guests. (They will be featured in a following post.) 

This town's version of a Children Xing sign.

Hydrangeas, taking their time to dry out.

Even the local hospital has a temple-like structure.

A rudimentary sign pointing towards Nyonindo, literally "woman path". Before 1872, women were not allowed to enter Koya, although women did practice Shingon Buddhism. This is the only remaining temple (out of seven) that women were allowed to stay in during their pilgrimage.

Even now, no concessions have been made to make the path easier to walk on. 

Small-scale vinyl greenhouses.

Because trees and wooden structures are abundant, "beward of fire" signs are a comment sight in Koya.

At dusk.

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