Visit the Starting Point for Pilgrimages to the Summit of Mt. Fuji
Kitaguchihongu Fuji Sengenjinja Shrine is a significant destination for pilgrims embarking on the journey to the summit of Mt. Fuji. Located in southeastern Yamanashi near the border of Shizuoka, this shrine holds great historical and cultural importance. The shrine is easily recognizable by its ancient stone lanterns that lead to a massive shrine gate and the main building, which is surrounded by thousand-year-old trees.
The shrine is a popular starting point for pilgrims due to its proximity to the Yoshida Trail, one of the most well-known routes to the summit of Mt. Fuji. Pilgrims flock to this shrine to seek blessings and guidance before embarking on their arduous journey. The large stone lanterns that line the path from the main road to the shrine create a mystical atmosphere, preparing pilgrims for the spiritual quest that lies ahead.
The enormous gate of the shrine, known as Fujisan Otorii, marks the transition from the everyday world to the sacred realm. As pilgrims pass through this gate, they leave behind the mundane and enter a realm where the divine and the natural converge. The gate serves as a symbolic portal, inviting pilgrims to embark on a transformative journey towards self-discovery and enlightenment.
One of the most remarkable features of the shrine is the presence of massive thousand-year-old Japanese cedars. These ancient trees stand as silent witnesses to the deep reverence that has been bestowed upon Mt. Fuji for centuries. Standing tall and majestic, these trees create a serene and awe-inspiring atmosphere, inviting pilgrims to pause and reflect on the significance of their pilgrimage.
Among these ancient trees, two cedars named Taro and Jiro hold a special place of honor. Taro, the tree at the front of the shrine, and Jiro, his twin at the back, are believed to possess sacred powers and are revered by pilgrims. Many pilgrims offer prayers and make offerings to these trees, seeking their blessings for a safe and successful journey.
The shrine has a rich historical background that dates back to the Edo period (1603–1867). During this time, followers of the Fujiko faith would begin their ascent of Mt. Fuji from a small gate located at the back of the shrine. This gate served as a starting point for their spiritual journey and symbolized their dedication to the mountain and their faith. While it is still possible to walk directly from the shrine to the top of the mountain, the exact path between the shrine and Umagaeshi, the entrance to the Yoshida Trail, has been lost to time. Pilgrims who wish to follow this traditional route are advised to use GPS technology to navigate their way.
To reach the shrine, visitors can take a train followed by a bus. From JR Shinjuku Station, an express train can be taken to JR Otsuki Station on the JR Chuo Line, which takes approximately an hour. At JR Otsuki Station, visitors can transfer to the privately-run Fuji Kyuko Line for Fujisan Station, the station closest to the shrine and the Yoshida Trail. It is important to note that the JR Pass is not accepted on the Fuji Kyuko Line.
The Kitaguchihongu Fuji Sengenjinja Shrine offers a unique and immersive experience for pilgrims and visitors alike. It serves as a gateway to the spiritual realm of Mt. Fuji and allows individuals to connect with the rich cultural and religious heritage of japan. Whether embarking on a pilgrimage or simply seeking a tranquil and sacred space, this shrine offers a profound and unforgettable experience.
In conclusion, the Kitaguchihongu Fuji Sengenjinja Shrine is a place of great significance for those embarking on a pilgrimage to the summit of Mt. Fuji. With its ancient stone lanterns, massive gate, and thousand-year-old trees, the shrine creates an atmosphere of reverence and spirituality. It serves as a starting point for pilgrims, marking their departure from the everyday world and their entry into the sacred realm of Mt. Fuji. The shrine’s historical background and proximity to the Yoshida Trail further enhance its importance. Whether one is a devoted pilgrim or a curious visitor, the Kitaguchihongu Fuji Sengenjinja Shrine offers a unique and transformative experience that will leave a lasting impression.
Address And Maps Location:
Katsuyama, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi-ken