- Capture the Colour photo contest -
I’m reposting this image as my entry to Travel Supermarket’s Capture the Colour photo contest. As per the rules of the contest, I am nominating 5 fellow bloggers to take part! William Camargo, Adrienne Shon, Michael Cabusi, Agent Sakur9 and Martin Wong.
Pictured are ancient and overgrown grave markers in the Okunoin graveyard at Mount Koya, Japan.
You escape from the roar and hustle and bustle of the concrete jungles that cover Japan, and find yourself ascending up into the mountains of Wakayama prefecture to the birthplace of Shingon Buddhism, one of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan. Towering skyscrapers are replaced by monstrous ancient cedar trees, convenience stores by somnolent temples and cell phone habituated city dwellers with bald headed monks. The air is filled with the sound of birds and cicadas.
Despite the initial impression of a place of esoterism and seclusion from modern Japanese life, it’s clear that beneath it all, that is not the case. Monks zip around in sporty cars, at temple entrances you’re greeted by Koyasan’s mascot “Koya-Kun”, a cutely drawn caricature of a travelling monk, and pilgrims are driven by bus to each of Koyasan’s holy areas where they follow their tour groups to receive holy merit by visiting as many of the mountain’s series of temples as they are able. Still, in the early morning when the crowds are back at their hotels, as you wander through various twisting pathways of the seemingly endless graveyard that enshrines some of Japan’s most famous and important historical figures, you can’t help but imagine yourself transported 1000 years into the past.