The entrance to Okunoin. The Ichinohashi Bridge (first bridge) is the traditional entrance to Okunoin, and those who enter bow and pay respect to Kobo Daishi (Kukai) before crossing it. (Photo: Jacquelyn Sy)

Koyasan's Sacred Site: Okunoin

Spiritual journey through Japan's largest graveyard

Jacquelyn Sy   - 1 min read

Okunoin, Japan's largest graveyard and home to Kukai's mausoleum, is one of the most spiritual places in Japan. It is believed that Kukai, posthumously named as Kobo Daishi, rests in eternal meditation inside his mausoleum as he awaits Miroku Nyorai (Maihreya), the Buddha of the Future. Some people also visit at night and immerse in the solemn and otherworldly atmosphere of the place.

Over 200,000 tombstones line the almost 2-km walk to Kobo Daishi's mausoleum. During its more than 1200-year history, many people, including prominent monks and feudal lords, had their tombstones erected here.

Jacquelyn Sy

Jacquelyn Sy