Haguro Mount, Japan

Stone steps in the cedar forest: a pilgrimage to the Haguro Mount

Japan is a country with rich traditions. They seem so amazing for tourists with its unusual East Asian color. The ancient Japanese religion Shinto based on nature deity and nature worship is particularly interesting. Shintoists believe that the sacred spirit can be haunted in any natural object, for example, in a stone, in a tree or in a mountain. This is the basis for «three mountains worship». The sacred Yudono-san (bathing pond) Mountains, Haguro-san (black wing) and Gas-san (moon) are located in the Yamagata province and have been the place of pilgrimage since the 7th century. The most accessible mountain is 751-meters-high Haguro-san mountain. The trail lined with 2466 stone steps leads to the mountain through the luxuriant cedar forest. There are religious figures carved on some steps. It is believed that if you find all 33 images, success and prosperity will accompany you everywhere. All along the way, a variety of temple structures can be.

The Haguro Mount Pagoda, Japan
The Haguro Mount Pagoda

Midway to the top of the mountain, everyone can rest and get the energy together in a cozy teahouse where you can drink nice green tea and get the «Stair Conqueror» certificate. On the way you would like to stop to enjoy the beauty of a huge 600 years-old pagoda. At the top of Haguro-san a beautiful pond and the largest of the temples here, Sanzan Gosaiden are situated. Right here the mountain spirit has been venerated by pilgrims. The temple was built in 1818, and its straw roof looks so impressive in its thickness about two meters. Also, there are a huge bell, a lot of smaller sanctuaries, a historic museum and a tomb of itinerant Hachiko prince on the top of the mountain. Well, to be fair, if it would be difficult to climb up the mountain, you can reach the temple by car. To feel the atmosphere you should better make an effort and take a stairway.

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