Koyasan (Koya Mountain) is the center of Shingon Buddhism which was introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi Kukai. It’s a temple town developed on mountaintop. There’s the site of Kobo Daishi’s mausoleum and that is the end point of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage.
On this trip, we flew from Narita airport to Kansai International Airport, and rented a car to travel around. Then we stayed at a hotel named Hatagoya in the suburbs of Nara city.
When searching for the route heading for Koyasan by car navigation, in the case of automatic setting, it is a route that uses highway, but it was predicted that if you select a general route by searching another route, that time will be earlier in time. So we decided to go south by passing through Yoshino through the vicinity of Hasederaji. Then we arrived at around 12:30 due to stopping by convenience stores and drug stores on the way.
On the way, my wife was sleeping at the front passenger seat. when we came across the Yoshino River, we can see the clear water in the river. The landscape is opened up and so beautiful. On the river side there are places where many cars get off and parking. The fishing anglers were soaked up in the river and waving the fishing pole. Kinokawa River has also rich feeling. If you look at this area “Kii Peninsula” from an airplane, the landscape has so deep green, so the water of the river is cool and rich.
After passing the popular tourist spot Kudoyama, the road gradually becomes a climbing route. On the way, I saw someone climbing by bicycle, but I did not see a person walking on the path. I think they go to Koyasan by train or bus. Even so, the mountains to Koyasan are so deep. In the era of Kobo Daishi, I can imagine that it was even more mountainous environment than the 88 temple in Shikoku.
We planned to go to the mountain top at once, but I could not stand the restroom on the way, I found the only public restroom beside the road, stopped the car and ran in. It is set in a place that is appreciated. Further climbing and crossing the ridge line and turning around, a signboard showing Koyasan town came out. A wonderful gate is built where you turn left and enter the city. The road passes by that side and enters the city.
When entering the town, We find the bigger city than I imagined is completed. If you do not know that this is a religious city, you will think like a spa town spreading over the plateau. The fact that the sacred place of Shingon sect opened by Kobo Daishi is developing this as the times go down shows the strong religion of the Shingon sect. First of all, in order to grasp the whole, heading to Ichinohashi from the parking lot of Kongobuji, I confirmed there was a private parking lot there, and went ahead to Okunoin parking lot.
Okunoin parking lot is a large parking lot where there are plenty of tourists’ cars and buses stopped. And there are many restaurants. I planned to park here if the distance to the Ichinohashi bridge is close, but I changed my mind because it was farther than I expected.
The vicinity of Kongobuji Temple is a hurt of the restaurant area. Several small dining halls remained visible on the way back to there. As we saw that there was a street space in the vicinity and we saw several customers going inside, we also came back to the restaurant to follow them.
The showcase in front of the restaurant store is decorated with faded menu samples. I thought that the store was dirty and tasteless even if the price of set meal was 1,800 yen. Because it is a sightseeing area price. I thought that it is this kind of price setting anywhere, but I decided to look at others and left off that store.
I put a car in the parking lot, walked down the city center and checked several restaurant stores. There are 2 popular restaurants. “Chuo shokudo Sanpou” is ryouri cuisine using yuba that made from soybean. It is a healthy diet, but lipid is high due to the use of soybean, it does not suit me. “Bononsha” serves a vegetarian lunch. It is served on one plate. I stopped getting in because seemed to be cooked with a lot of oil.
In my case, I have limited lipid, so it is difficult to choose the content of eating out. Eventually I entered an ordinary shop called “Shoujin ryori & sushi Maruman” in the city center. There are more customers in comparison with similar adjacent shops. There were a lot of foreigners, and I thought that evaluation was high among them and I chose it.
I ate sushi and soba set meal, but I did not have delicious soba. soba nuddle was too soft and the soup was tasteless. Only Kappamaki sushi was decent.
Well, this is the place I can not help it.