Koya-kun, a yuruchara (easy character?)
I woke up at 5:30am. I drank some yesterday with coworkers so I prefer staying in bed for the morning. I checked the weather information on TV and today is supposed to be sunny, except for some hard rain falling in southern part of Osaka prefecture. I thought the moisture in the air could stay and bring bad weather later so I decided to take a chance to go today. I left home at 6:50am, trying to catch a train leaving Nishi-Akashi at 7:15am. I bought a special daily pass for 2,900 Yen and get on a Special Rapid train bound for Osaka. I arrived Osaka at 7:50am, and changed to a local train at 8:02am to Shin-Imamiya. It only took a short period of time to reach there.
Special rapid train arriving to Nishi-Akashi station A local train at Shin-Imamiya, Type 200 is a classic...
At Shin-Imamiya, I went to Nankai Electric Railway's ticketing counter to get another set of passes. I get on a rapid train leaving at 8:38am, the train ran through populated area for a while but then the surrounding began to change to countryside and mountains. If I took an Express then I could go to the Koyasan station straight, but I did not want to pay 760 Yen surcharge, so I have to change the train at Hashimoto once. The train arrived at Hashimoto at 9:26am and waited until 9:56am for a local train to depart. The ride to Gokurakubashi, is such a thrilling one, the train kept turning right and left, through many tunnels. It's like a rollercoaster ride. The train moved slow, and also stopped at many remote stations, I very much see no one getting on or out. After arriving at Gokurakubashi station at 10:35am, I had to rush to a cable car platform to get a ride to Koyasan station. The car is made to go up a steep hill so the shape of the car was very funny. The car departed at 10:40am and arrived at the terminal station in about 5 minutes. They were making announcement in Japanese, English and French.
Catching a rapid train at Shin-Imamiya Local train to Gokurakubashi A cable car to the top
After arriving at Koyasan station, I had to go through crowds to the outside. There is a bus station next to it so I get on one going to Okunoin, which is at the furthest part of the town.
Koyasan station, looks like a temple Bus station by Koyasan station
I get on a bus at 10:50am and get off 30 minutes later at Okunoin Guchi. There is an outdoor tea house by the entrance of the path, I think it is a nice place to rest. However, I immediately started to walk toward the temple via Sando (a formal pathway). The path is stone floored and has many tombstones along big Japanese cedar trees. Some of those tombs belong to very famous Japanese clans and names can be found in history textbooks.
Tea house at the entrance Japanese cedar trees, they are very old
Here are some tombstones of famous clams
Date clan Shimazu clan Uesugi clan Takeda clan Danjuro Ichikawa (Kabuki actor) Asano clan Tokugawa clan Oda clan
The path is very quiet, and see very few people on the way. Some with digital cameras like me, others with Juzu, looks like on the way back to the station. Following many mile markers, walking in the fresh air in the nature made my feel good. When I look up the sky, some stormy looking clouds reminds me that I am at a mountain area, where the weather can be go bad anytime... Some other pictures I took along the way.
Mile markers for every 400 meters? Picture of the path way Looking up a Jizou toward summer sky
I have finally arrived at Okunoin. The signs at the place is asking not to use camera or any recording devices so I followed the rules. There is a line of statues by the entrance to the main temple and people are sprinkling waters on them. I enter the main building and realized the air is pretty heavy but clean. Monks reading out sutra, and people visiting to pay respect. I followed what people inside doing and then stepped out.
People sprinkling water to the statues Main building seeing the back
As I was walking out from the area, I have seen many companies have tombs for the employees.
Shin-Maywa Panasonic Corporation Kubota
Pathway out At exit
After coming out from the pathway, I get on a bus again, but this time to going back. I get off at Senjuinbashi station and went into a gift shop. I bought some postcards, then ordered Shojin meal, which is a vegetarian dish. I finished eating in 15 minutes so I was back on street by 1:00pm.
Shojin meal, which does not use any meats
I headed west where some famous temples are located. This way used to be the formal road who were visiting the Mt. Koya but people started to use more convenient way...
Daimon - The Daimon is the formal entrance to the temples.
After taking some pictures of Daimon, I walked back to the station with using other way. The path does not have a designated sidewalk, and it is not covered with trees. It was hot while I was walking. I arrived back to station at 2:15pm. It took me 45 minutes.
The weather is changing so quick
Just as I came back, there is a cable car arriving from the foot of the mountain, so I get on the car at 2:17pm, and arrived to Gokurakubashi station at 2:48pm. To Osaka, I found a Special Rapid train leaving at ?. So there was a pack of people waiting for the train to leave. Another round of cable car trip was made, so about 400 people are in the train now, and it departed.
Cable car pathway down to the foot of station Train waiting at Gokurakubashi
Since I was wanting to watch outside, I decided not to take a seat. The train moved along the same path as it came in. Moving slow on the narrow, curved track. Where the train makes stop is not straight so some part of gaps between the cars and platform was as wide as 1.5 feet. I wonder if elderly people might get in to troubles.
Stopping at a station which is very curvy Watch for the gap (about 1.5 feet...)
As I was watching outside on the way back, I saw a local shrine was preparing for a festival. They decorated with paper lantern. Finally arrive back to Shin-Omiya. I decided to take some pictures of the trains they have.
Rapit Koya Express Tenku Express
I went outside of the station, because I wanted to check out Tsutenkaku, a local popular spot for tourists. This is an area you don't want to be walking around if you have no business, there are a lot of people, but
Streets of Osaka Tsutenkaku Street car
I came back to Shin-Imamiya station and move on to the next location, a former Expo site. A local train left Shin-Imamiya at 4:58pm to Osaka, after arriving at Osaka at 5:15pm, I changed to another local train leaving at 5:19pm heading to Ibaraki. The train arrived at 5:28pm and checked a map posted at the station. I started to walk toward west. It was about 2km walk, and outside is getting dark but still hot. I was sweating very hard. I have to find a place to buy a bottle of water. After a bit of trouble finding the way, I finally get to the park. The gate was closed because it was after the business hours, but I snap some pictures. I saw a D51 nearby the park also.
Looking at the tower from distance, looks like a monster... D51 steam locomotive Taiyo no Toh (Tower of the Sun)
Leaving the park at 6:20pm, the outside is getting much darker and the air is still hot and still. I hope there are some breeze to cool me off. Came back to the station at 7:10pm, and took a rapid train leaving Ibaraki at 7:20pm. I had to get off from the train at Sannomiya at 8:04pm since next train, which is a special rapid, will arrive at Nishi-Akashi first. It left the station at 8:09pm, arrived Nishi-Akashi at 8:25pm. There was a group of drank folks, some even fell sleep on the floor of the car. I just hate to see those folks. I walked into a restaurant to eat a curry and rice for dinner. I come home around 9:30pm, and went to bed around 11:00pm.
Night time in Sannomiya My dinner, Beef fillet fries on curry and rice...
From To Depart Arrival Fare JR Nishi-Akashi JR Shin-Imamiya JR Special Rapid 1,050 Yen Nankai Shin-Imamiya Nankai Koyasan Nankai Rapid 1,230 Yen Nankai Koyasan Nankai Koyasan 1 Day pass for bus 800 Yen Nankai Koyasan Nankai Shin-Imamiya Nankai Rapid 1,230 Yen JR Shin-Imamiya JR Ibaraki Local 380 Yen JR Ibaraki JR Nishi-Akashi 1,210 Yen
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