Vacation! What better way to relax than walking 75+km over 5 days? This was the longest I had been away from my laptop in a long time, by a huge amount. My friend and I went to Koyosan, an incredibly special area south east of Osaka. It is famous for being the birthplace of zen Buddhism and its pilgrimage hikes, one of which we did. This was my second time in the area, I went in the summer of 2020 for a temple stay and really fell hard in love, but it was even better this time.
The first day we walked around the town and relaxed as much as possible. We stayed at a beautiful temple that had an onsen (hot spring bath). Unsurprisingly, I found sweets immediately. Counter-clockwise from the top there is kinako walnut mochi, white sesame tofu pudding, and red bean namagashi styled to mimic the first sakura falling among the snow.
All the food served was breathtaking and vegetarian, called shojin ryori, it is Buddhist cuisine and I absolutely adored it. The place was truly like stepping out of reality.
Koyosan is also home to one of the largest cemeteries in Japan. We walked along and took in the atmosphere, soaked in onsen and got ready for our pilgrimage hike the next day.