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  • From sacred mountains to the bustling cities, Koyasan and Osaka are popular tourist destinations

  • in the Kansai Region that offer a wide variety of sightseeing spots.

  • On this trip, we will be exploring a revered mountain and learning more about tea and sake..

  • My name is Raina Ong, staff writer for japan-guide.com, and for the next two days, I'll be visiting

  • Koyasan and Sakai City on an overnight trip.

  • Here's the plan.

  • On Day One, we arrive by plane at Kansai International Airport in Osaka where our trip begins.

  • After that, it's time to catch the Nankai train on towards Koyasan via Tengachaya to

  • Gokurakubashi, and from there the cable car to Koyasan.

  • Upon arrival at Koyasan Station, we take the bus into the town center and visit the attractions

  • on the mountain like Kongobuji Temple, Okunoin and hike one of the pilgrimage trails in Koyasan

  • all the way to the Daimon gate.

  • The day ends with a stay at a temple lodging.

  • On Day Two, after participating in the daily morning prayers at the temple lodging, we

  • descend the mountain and head into Sakai to learn more about tea and local sake, before

  • ending the day at the UNESCO World Heritage burial tombs of some of the former emperor

  • and aristocrats of Japan.

  • So follow along as we go on a 2-day trip to Koyasan and Sakai by Nankai Railway.

  • Upon arriving at Kansai International Airport,

  • we head to the Nankai train station located near the international arrival terminal.

  • After sending our luggage off at the N.E.S.T counter, we head to Koyasan, a spiritual mountain

  • home to the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism, and where its founder Kobo Daishi is said

  • to be in eternal meditation.

  • Our first stop on Koyasan is Kongobuji Temple,

  • which is the head temple of Shingon Buddhism.

  • Not only is the main temple building massive, but it's also a good place to see traditional

  • Japanese architecture and design.

  • Over here is the Banryutei, a dry rock garden,

  • and the rocks over here, they represent a dragon floating over a sea of clouds, protecting the inner hall.

  • We then make our way to the vast cemetery

  • in Okunoin, enjoying the serenity and tranquility along the approach before heading to the mausoleum

  • of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism.

  • The Shojinku Procession happens twice daily, once at 6am and once at 10:30am.

  • It is a procession in which monks deliver food to Kobo Daishi,

  • who is said to be in eternal meditation in the mausoleum at the back.

  • Not far from the Nakanohashi entrance to Okunoin is the start of the Nyoninmichi hiking trail.

  • Hiking trails are a great way to see the mountain from another perspective and enjoy the outdoors.

  • This hike takes about 2-3 hours to complete and offers some pretty scenery as it passes

  • through the woods and crosses a mountain pass.

  • No visit to Koyasan is complete without an

  • overnight stay at a temple lodging.

  • One of the nice things about staying at a temple is getting to eat Shojin Ryori which is Buddhist cuisine.

  • We've got sesame tofu which is made in house, tempura, hot pot and a few miso dishes.

  • Morning prayers are one of the activities you can participate in when you stay at a temple lodging,

  • and that's what I'm about to do.

  • It really sets the tone for the rest of the day.

  • This morning's activity and breakfast left

  • me feeling very refreshed, and now it's time to head down the mountain towards our

  • next destination for the day: the city of Sakai.

  • Sakai is known to be the birthplace Sen no Rikyu,

  • the most important tea master in the history of Japan.

  • My first stop is the Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko, to learn more about the tea culture in Sakai.

  • This room that I'm in is a replica of Sen No Rikyu's tea room in Kyoto. This place feels really authentic.

  • Tea ceremony experiences are also available here, and I'm gonna give it a go.

  • For lunch, I headed to Tsuboichi Saryo.

  • This tea company was established in 1850, and is a well-loved local business today.

  • In addition to selling tea, the shop also serves food, and I'm ready for a tea-infused meal.

  • So the nice thing about the Gyokuro leaves are that after making the tea, we get to eat the leaves.

  • This is ponzu, like vinegar.

  • Doesn't taste like tea at all, it tastes like vegetables, like spinach.

  • Another local business, the Sakai Izumi Brewery

  • is a sake brewery in the city, and there's no better place to try local Japanese sake.

  • The company's main sake label is named after the tea master Sen no Rikyu reflecting its

  • origins in the city and its heritage.

  • Our final stop for the day, is the Mozu-Furuichi

  • Kofun Group, a cluster of 49 kofun or ancient burial mounds spread across two areas.

  • I visited the Kofun in the Mozu area where about half the tombs are located.

  • Behind me is the Nintokutenryo Kofun, one of the largest burial mounds in the world.

  • It's a bit hard to appreciate its shape from here, but here is how it looks from above.

  • These Kofun come in various shapes and sized and are designated world heritage sites.

  • And that concludes our 2-day trip to Koyasan and Sakai.

  • Thanks for joining me.

  • I hope this video has been enjoyable and perhaps even inspires some ideas, should you decide

  • to plan an overnight trip from Kansai Airport.

  • For more information or to watch another video, click the links on the screen now or head

  • to japan-guide.com, your comprehensive up-to-date travel guide first hand from Japan.

  • Thanks for watching, be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell for more videos

  • about Japan.

  • Happy travels.

From sacred mountains to the bustling cities, Koyasan and Osaka are popular tourist destinations

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    Summer posted on 2020/04/23
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