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Writer:Yuta Sakaguchi

Hi, I’m Yuta. I grew up and live in Yokohama, a port city near Tokyo. I once lived in Kichijoji, located in the western part of Tokyo. I love walking around a street and taking pictures. On my article I introduce attractions mainly of Tokyo with many wonderful pictures. Please enjoy them!

Mt. Mitake: feel magnificent nature and experience culture and faith of Japan!

January 7, 2016

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Oshi Village

Outline

Mt. Mitake is located in Tama area of Tokyo prefecture and 929 meters high. You can enjoy magnificent nature and superb views though it is easy to get to the mountain from central Tokyo. Furthermore there are Musashi-Mitake Shrine and Shukubo (hospices) in Mt. Mitake that is a subject of mountain worship, so you can experience culture and faith of Japan’s own. It is attractive on a fine day of course, and also it is nice when it is foggy because of its fantastic atmosphere. Then I would like to introduce the appeal of Mt. Mitake.

Access

You can go to Mt. Mitake from central Tokyo (Shinjuku) by train, bus and cable car. First, ride JR Chuo line and JR Ome line from Shinjuku station to Mitake station. Some trains are direct trains and others you need to change trains at Tachikawa station or Ome station. It takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Mitake station a 10-minute ride on Nishi Tokyo Bus takes you to Cable-shita bus stop. Then go to Mitakesan station from Takimoto station nearby Cable-shita bus stop by the cable car of Mitake Tozan Railway. It takes only 6 minutes. If you walk about 1 hour on the approach of Musashi-Mitake Shrine from there you will reach Mitakesan station as well. From Mitakesan station you can get to Oshi village where Shukubo (hospices) are concentrated in 10 minutes walking, Musashi-Mitake Shrine and Nagaodaira in 25 minutes walking.

Musashi-Mitake Shrine


Worship Hall of Musashi-Mitake Shrine (c) Sei Ouchi

Musashi-Mitake Shrine is located on the top of Mt. Mitake and one of the major sacred places in Kanto region. It has long history and is said to be established in 91 B.C. Wolves are worshipped in Mt. Mitake, for example Komainu (shrine guardian animal statues; they are usually dogs) are wolves in Musashi-Mitake Shrine and wolves are enshrined at Okuchimagami Shrine, which is located in the precincts of the shrine and at the highest point of the mountain. That is originated from Japanese Mythology. Yamato Takeru (an Imperial prince of Emperor Keiko) lost his way near Mt. Mitake while he was on his journey to conquer the east. At that time a wolf appeared and led him. He ordered the wolf to stay at Mt. Mitake as a god. Wolves hunted harmful animals so Musashi-Mitake Shrine is worshipped by framers and there are many stone monuments of pilgrim groups of various places in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama prefectures. Samurai also worshipped the shrine and contributed armors to it. There are many historical buildings and they are worth seeing.


Torii (gateway) of Musashi-Mitake Shrine


Komainu of Musashi-Mitake Shrine

Ubuyasu Shrine

Ubuyasu Shrine is located within a short walk from Musashi-Mitake Shrine. Though it is a small shrine, it is very popular as “Power Spot (holy place)”. It is regarded as having divine favor in making a good match, a long life and an easy delivery. There are three sacred trees near by the shrine. If you touch each tree, you will receive blessings of easy delivery, pregnancy and good match.

Oshi Village


The entrance of Oshi Village

As according to its name, Oshi Village is a village where people called Oshi are living. Oshi is originated from monks who practiced asceticism in Mt. Mitake, and their business are missionary work for Musashi-Mitake Shrine and manage Shukubo (hospices) for the worshippers. There are over 20 Shukubo (hospices) in Mt. Mitake and many of them are wonderful Japanese buildings. They serve delicious foods, so you can use them as Ryokan (Japanese style inns) purely. Oshi Village has Japanese atmosphere and it is very fun to stroll around. Baba-ke Oshi-Jutaku House that is designated as "Tokyo Metropolitan Area-designated tangible cultural properties” is worth seeing. In addition the shopping street along the approach to Musashi-Mitake Shrine has the olden day’s atmosphere. You can buy foods and souvenirs there.


A road in Oshi Village


A road in Oshi Village


Mitakesanso (Shukubo)


The courtyard of Mitakesanso


The inside of Mitakesanso


Baba-ke Oshi-Jutaku House


The shopping street along the approach to Musashi-Mitake Shrine

Mitakedaira


A view from Mitakedaira

Mitakedaira is the square nearby Mitakesan station. There are chairs and tables and you can take a rest. From there beautiful scenery of the surrounding mountains and central Tokyo can be seen.

Nagodaira


Nagodaira (c) Sei Ouchi

Nagaodaira is the observation deck nearby Musashi-Mitake Shrine. It has beautiful views for example you can overlook the surrounding mountains. I also recommend views from the heliport on the way.

The Rock Garden


The Rock Garden (c) Sei Ouchi

The Rock Garden is a walking path along a mountain stream nearby Musashi-Mitake Shrine. It takes about 2 hours to walk around and you can enjoy varied scenes such as Tengu Rock (a huge rock), waterfalls (Nanayo waterfall and Ayahito waterfall) and Yozawa river (a stream). Among them Ayahiro waterfall is recommended. It is a place where the Shinto rituals for purification have been performed since ancient times and Haraedo no okami (gods of purification in Shinto religion) are enshrined at the right of the waterfall. It is surrounded by rocks and has subtle and profound atmosphere.


The Japanese cedar tree in which Tengu (long‐nosed goblin) is said to sit


I was able to view the sea of clouds


A slope covered with roots (c) Sei Ouchi


Tengu Rock (c) Sei Ouchi


Ayahito waterfall

Though Mt. Mitake is close from central Tokyo, you can feel magnificent nature and experience culture and faith of Japan! It is so attractive that I want to visit there again and again.

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