Danjo Garan Complex (Koyasan)

Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011 | 0 comments

  This complex is one of the most important areas in Koyasan. To quote my tourist pamphlet: 'The name Garan is derived from Sanskrit, and means a quiet and secluded place where Buddhist monks may train'. So in essence, it's a big monastery complex. Initial construction began in the early 9th century, but I'm not sure how long it took to complete. Included in the complex are Daito (the Great Pagoda), Kondo (Golden Hall), Fudodo, and Miedo (Portrait Hall).
Daito was intended by Kobo Daishi to be the center of his monastic complex. It took nearly 70 years to build, but the present building was rebuilt in 1937 after being destroyed by fire several times.
Kondo is where major Buddhist services are performed, although none were going on when we were by.
Fudodo is the oldest surviving building in the complex and is designated as a National Treasure.
Miedo is said to be built on the site where Kobo Daishi resided. A portrait of him is kept here but not displayed to the public. The building itself is only opened once a year, on the day that Kobo Daishi died (or, as the pamphlet puts it: 'entered into eternal meditation').
  There are a bunch of other smaller buildings in the complex too, not all of which were named in my guide. And I wasn't really making note of the most important buildings when we toured the complex, but there are a few of them included in the pictures below....

                                            Daito (Great Pagoda)

                                            Miedo (Portrait Hall)