Choishi-Michi: The Pilgrimage Trail
Over the centuries, pilgrims have climbed steep mountain trails to reach Koyasan. One of seven such trails taken by pilgrims, World Heritage Site Choishi-Michi Trail was the official route taken by Kobo Daishi to visit his mother who lived at the base of Koyasan, a trip he made nine times per month. Follow in Kobo Daishi’s footsteps and travel back in time to 1,200 years ago. You’ll go through deep forests of cedar and bamboo, sit on rocks that Kobo Daishi probably sat on, meet old spirits of the forest, and pray in front of statues offering protection to travelers. You’ll also pass by rock stupa markers, erected every 109 meters to mark the distance left to Koyasan along the 23-kilometer trail. These stupas were not merely markers – their unique forms represent the five Buddhist elements of earth, water, fire, wind and space, and pilgrims stopped to pray at each stupa before continuing on the trail. The simple, bold beauty of these stupas will probably make you want to do the same.
December 05, 2016