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Wakayama: Mt. Kōya's Daimon

Located in the west end of the town of Koyasan in Mt. Kōya, Wakayama Prefecture in Japan, Mt. Kōya's Daimon is considered by many, especially the pilgrims, as the main entrance to the town.

Also called the Great Gate, Mt. Kōya's Daimon is an important cultural property of Japan. The first structure was built in the Tsuzuraoi Valley before being moved to the present site in the 12th century. The current building was rebuilt in 1705. The daimon is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites dubbed "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range".

This way to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites
I wonder what that means...
One of the guardians in the Daimon
A torii leading up to another part of the mountain
Another view of the Daimon

View of the gate from the back!
Up close and personal
History of the Daimon
The daimon measures 21.4 meters by 7.9 meters and stand 25.1 meters tall. The most notable thing(s) that one can easily see in the daimon are the giant statues inside it. They are called Kongo-Rikishi or Guardian Deities. These statues were created by Koi and Hokkyo-Uncho. Both were famous Buddhist sculptors during the Edo Period.
Check out those guardians!
We got to visit the daimon during our trip to Mt. Kōya on the 23rd day of our visit in Japan. It was the first historical structure in Koyasan that we got to see. It was also in the vicinity of the daimon that we got to experience real snow. In fact I did my first snow angel right beside the Great Gate.
Made my own snow angel
We posed for a family picture near the Dai-mon
Here's what's behind the gate.
Overall, seeing the Mt. Kōya's Daimon for the first time would surely make you excited of what's more to see in Mt. Kōya. Plus it also reminds you that everything beyond the Great Gate is sacred.

Getting there:

Ride the Nankai Electric Railway from Namba Station in Osaka to Gokurakubashi Station at the base of the mountain. Then ride a cable car going up the mountain. You could also drive up the mountain, however take note that your tires should be able to run through slippery roads especially in winter season.


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  1. Lot's of snow there. Is it possible to do trekking in the mountain?

    1. Hi Velysia! Yes you could but it would be better if you ride a bus or a ropeway. =)


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