The sacred place on the top Mount Oyama - Waku Waku

Explore, Experience
Enjoy Japan

The sacred place on the top Mount Oyama

Travel

The sacred place on the top Mount Oyama

Located on the border of Isehara, Hadano, and Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture, the 1252-meter-high Mount Oyama is a place where you can go to experience the rich history and religious culture of the Edo period. Let's visit the two most sacred temples, namely Oyama-dera and Oyama-Afuri, which are located on the top of the mountain, with me through this article!

Le Honganhh

Le Honganhh

Published on 24 Sep, 12:00

Mount Oyama - Where ancient beliefs are preserved

Since ancient times, Mount Oyama has been a favored place for worship and excursions for Japanese people. This place is famous for its beautiful natural scenery and also attracts many pilgrims from all over the country.

Upon coming here on a beautiful autumn day, I could sense the fresh air and the gentle breeze blowing through each branch, all of which create a poetic natural scenery for this sacred place.

This place seems to possess different shades of beauty in each season, which is characterized by the color of the sky, the colors of the flowers and the majestic mountains, but I think it is the most gorgeous in autumn - when the red and yellow leaves are in full bloom and light up the entire sky.

The autumn scenery on Mount Oyama
The autumn scenery on Mount Oyama

Mount Oyama is believed to be able to grant people favorable weather and good crops; thus, many devotees regularly visit this place. As a result, in the Edo period, the pilgrimage to Mount Oyama became popular and became an indispensable walking activity for people who follow religions and love to travel.

This activity is described in some ukiyo-e paintings, one is which is "Oyama-mairi" (Oyama Pilgrimage), which is recognized as a Japanese Heritage.

We did not encounter any problem on the way here, since I carefully looked up the route and watched the weather forecast in advance. It only took about 30 minutes by bus from Isehara Station on the Odawara line of the Odakyu Electric Railway for us to arrive at the foot of the mountain.

The path up the mountain is ancient stairs
The path up the mountain is ancient stairs

Along the way up the mountain, I still caught sight of monuments and signs that serve as markers for the old Oyama road. It will take about 2 hours to climb from the foot to the top of the mountain if you go continuously without stopping.

Road signs and directions on the way
Road signs and directions on the way

Oyama-dera temple and Oyama-Afuri Shrine

After climbing up the stairs step by step, Oyama-dera Temple, a monastery located on Mount Oyama, was there in front of me. We leisurely walked up the Onna-zaka hill from the Koma-sando walkway. Red maple trees were casting shadows on both sides of the stone steps leading to the main hall of the temple as if they were welcoming visitors.

For a moment, I thought I had just traveled back in time. My soul seemed to be immersed in the nostalgic and sacred atmosphere of this place.

Visitors, upon coming here, can also experience the activity of throwing terracotta objects called "Kawarake" to ward off disasters and pray for good luck.

Gorgeous red trees along both sides of the road to the temple
Gorgeous red trees along both sides of the road to the temple
This temple is famous for its statue of the Noble Immovable Lord. This statue, along with two accompanying Tongzi statues, was recognized as an important national cultural property.

The statue of the Noble Immovable Lord
The statue of the Noble Immovable Lord
Visitors coming to the temple
Visitors coming to the temple

On the top of the mountain, there is Afuri Shrine, which has been around for more than 2200 years and is recognized as a two-star tourist destination according to The Michelin Green Guide Japan.

From this height, I could have a panorama view of the beautiful Mount Oyama and feel the vitality of nature. The temple looks new and clean with red as the main color. On both sides of the temple, there are stone pillars with letters engraved on them.

This is not only a place to worship but also an outstanding place to admire the characteristic natural scenery in all four seasons, which you cannot miss!

The beautiful Afuri Shrine on the top of the mountain
The beautiful Afuri Shrine on the top of the mountain
Red leaves mixed with yellow ones, creating a poetic autumn scene
Red leaves mixed with yellow ones, creating a poetic autumn scene

According to my research, this temple worships the god of mountains, water, and even wine production, whose name is Oyama Matsumi no Okami. This place is also called Amefuri Yama - the mountain of rain. That is why, since ancient times, this place has become the place to perform the rain ceremony of the Japanese people.

The natural scenery from Afuri Shrine
The natural scenery from Afuri Shrine
Upon coming here, I felt like I have escaped from the bustling city and found a quiet place for my soul to feel pure and peaceful again.

After 3 hours of sightseeing and taking beautiful pictures, we decided to leave. This trip was truly a memorable experience as I had the chance to witness the autumn scenery on Mount Oyama and visited the famous temple and shrine.

What about you? Don't forget to visit this place when you come to Kanagawa!!!

0
Le Honganhh

Le Honganhh

"You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth."

From the same writer

Korankei - The valley autumn leaves of Aichi Prefecture

Autumn in Japan is never complete if you do not go maple-leaves viewing. Apar...

Le Honganhh Le Honganhh · Travel · about 1 year ago

0
Stunning nature scenery at Mino waterfall

Located in the "Meiji no Mori Mino" national park, the majestic Mino waterfal...

Le Honganhh Le Honganhh · Travel · about 1 month ago

0
Seeing the matchmaking wind chimes overshadowing the sky at the Enmusubi festival

Started to be held in 2014, the famous wind chimes path at the Enmusubi Wind ...

Le Honganhh Le Honganhh · Culture · about 1 year ago

0

Read also

Got something wrong on our system. Please reload and try again!
Success action!