2014.10.14
Ehime Saijo City

Founder of the Shugendō sect, En no Gyōja, opened Mt. Ishizuchi 1,330 years ago : Mt. Ishizuchi “Kamegamori” (Ehime Prefecture)

The tallest mountain in western Japan, Mt. Ishizuchi is the centerpiece of the Ishizuchi mountain range.  One of the country’s 7 holy mountains, it was opened about 1,330 ago.

 

In ancient times, Ishizuchi Kongō Zaō Daigongen (a deity worshiped by the Shugendō sect) was enshrined on “Kamegamori” mountain (also found in the Ishizuchi mountain range). However, the diety is now enshrined on Mt. Ishizuchi.

 

At 1,897 m above sea level, Kamegamori, with its ‘Sasa’ plant covered peak is the 3rd tallest in Ehime prefecture and one of Japan’s 300 famous mountains.

 

Many people like to come here as the journey up is more like hiking than climbing, and it doesn’t feel so high once you reach the top.

 

 

Park your car in the parking lot and make your way to the summit. You’ll find a carpet of Sasa and the sky very close!

 

 

Up until the Taishō period (1912~1926), not everyone could climb the mountain. Fearing the huge serpent that was rumored to live there, nobody used to visit!

 

 

The name “Kamegamori’ is derived from ‘a place related to water’. Indeed, it is the source of Shikoku’s wide representative Yoshino River that flows through Tokushima.

 

On the mountain, a jar shaped pit that never dries out has been collecting spring water since the dawn of time. Known as “Kametsubo”, since ancient times it has been a religious site for those who worship the water of the gods.

 

 

Even now, in a landscape unchanged since time immemorial, ascetic monks come to draw water from the temple that has been here since Mt. Ishizuchi opened.

 

 

If you come to Ehime, you really should visit the Ishizuchi mountain range at least once.

 

Travelling through the mountains along the meandering Kamegamori Forest Highway and climbing Kamegamori Holy Mountain! How does that sound?

 

 

Kamegamori Saijō-shi Ehime

 

Parking : Free (50 spaces available)

Website : http://iyokannet.jp/english/spot/spot5.html#anc01

 

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer : Maki Ohashi

 

 

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