October 8, 2015 – The 47 Prefectures Coin Program issued by Japan Mint got a new representative. The silver commemorative coin is devoted to the 42nd prefecture: Wakayama.
Commemorative coin “Japan 47 Prefectures Coin Program – Wakayama” / Fine Silver / 40 mm / 31.1 g / Mintage: 100,000.
While the obverse of the commemorative coin features snow crystals, the moon and cherry blossoms, the reverse is entirely devoted to the Danjo Garan Temple Complex. This site is believed to have been the first complex built by the Japanese monk and most important representative of Shingon Buddhism, Kobo Daishi (Kukai, 774-835), when he came to Mt. Koya. The sacred mountain site Mt. Koya, founded by Kukai in 816, celebrates the 1200th anniversary of its foundation in 2015. In 2004 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.
The Danjo Garan Temple Complex, located in Wakyama, the 42nd Prefecture of Japan.
The view of the Danjo Garan with the Konpon Daito Great Stupa at its heart is one of the most famous sights on the mountain. In 1977, the Garan Area was designated a National Historic Site as part of the Kongobuji Temple precincts, and the Great Stupa, Kondo (Main Hall), and other buildings within these precincts constitute Japan’s first full-scale monastic complex dedicated to esoteric Buddhism.
More information on the “Japan 47 Prefectures Coin Program” is available at the website of Japan Mint.
A wealth of information about Kukai and his teachings can be found here.
Please, read more about the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range on the relevant UNESCO page.
And impressions of Wakayama can be viewed in this film on YouTube.