The sunlight threw me off completely. Full, blazing brightness in a place I had previously only experienced in shadow and mist.
I first explored Kōya-san in 2001. Since then, it has been one of my most favourite places to revisit to take photos and to breathe in pure mountain air tinged with incense. Every time I have been there, the enormous Oku-no-in cemetery has decayed just a little more, and more offerings have accumulated.
Oku-no-in is a place of mysticism and long tradition. Harsh sunlight does not suit the scene at all. This was one of those times when perfect weather was not what I wanted. Through black and white photos, I tried to capture some sense the mystery of the place.
Kuan Yin (Guanyin, Kwannon), the Bodhisattva of Compassion
A story about Oku-no-in:
The last time I stayed overnight at Kōya-san, I had a room at the temple located
closest to the Oku-no-in entrance. I decided to take a late night walk by
lantern light. A short distance into the cemetery, I found my path
blocked by a very large three-legged white dog. It just looked at me and
did not yield the path. I am not superstitious but I decided that this
was a bad omen if ever there was such a thing so I turned back and went
More about Kōya-san over on the official website, here.