Climbing Konpira-san: Ōkyo Maruyama’s Tigers

 

I left you a few days ago at the first stop of the 1,368 steps ascension of Konpira-san.

Today, we’re not going much higher, as a mere dozen steps later (basically on top of the set of stairs you can see on the last picture of the previous post) you’re offered a choice. Either you turn left and continue to climb or turn right for a small detour that I warmly advise you (warmly to the point that this post will be completely about it).

So, if you turn right, what you see first is a small courtyard with a building at the end:

 

Konpira - Interlude - 1

 

When getting closer, one can start to see something intriguing on the wall opposite to the entrance:

 

Konpira - Interlude - 2

 

Before going any further, just a small detail above the entrance (those buddhist temples are always full of them, make sure you look everywhere when you visit them):

 

Konpira - Interlude - 3

 

So, this is what it is all about; if you enter the building – that is indeed part of a buddhist temple – a thing you can do after paying a small amount of yens (I forgot the exact number) you’ll be able to admire of one Konpira-san’s treasures, one that is classified as Important Cultural Property, namely a series of walls and sliding doors dating from Edo Period and that are simply stunning. Some of those are paintings by Ōkyo Maruyama.

As pictures are not allowed inside, here is a postcard that I scanned to give you an idea of what to expect:

 

Konpira - Interlude - 4
The tiger room by Ōkyo Maruyama.

 

That’s all for today, we’re going to resume our ascension pretty soon, but use this post as a reminder; don’t forget to turn right and make this small detour when you visit Konpira-san.

 

(to be continued)

 

The beginning of the ascension:

 

 

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