Sunday, October 16, 2011

Under a Clear Autumn Sky

To make up for a lack of exercise these days, my husband and I climbed Mt. Inamura-ga-take (1725m) the other day.

                                      climbing a gradual slope through coniferous forest

                                                         an elephant among the trees!?

                           Passing through the coniferous forest, you’ll find broadleaf tree forest                  
                           spreading, some of them were turning into autumn colors.

                                           This kind of wooden bridge supported by iron piles
                                          or iron chains on rocky and rugged slopes for climbers
                                          to hold were fixed on the way to the top.

Clockwise from left, mikaeriso (mikaeri means look back; so those flowers are so beautiful that you have to look back to see them again), noazami, hagakure-tsurifuneso (mouthful name! hagakure means hidden under the leaf ), mamushiso in spring (mamushi means viper, do you think it just looks like a viper raises its head ?) and then mamushiso now in fall.

                                               another peak of Mt. Inamura-ga-take

                                        Nothing is in the way to see panoramic view from
                                              the top of Mt. Inamura-ga-take.

Over there is Mt. Sanjo-ga-take. Actually it is included in mountain ranges called Mt. Omine  but in a narrow sense of the term, Mt. Sanjo-ga-take is called Mt. Omine. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage sites, as part of the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Route in Kii Mountain Range”. The temple on the top of  it is the head quarters of the Shugendo sect of Japanese Buddhism and the entire mountain is part of pilgrimage and training ground of ascetic practitioners.

Traditionally women were not allowed to climb mountains sacred to Shinto religions. Nowadays only Sanjo-ga-take has the ban on women. However, its prohibition is no legal binding, there have been breaches by feminist activists. The temple and the local community issue a request for people to understand their religion and tradition. Instead,  this Inamura-ga-take was reserved for women's practitioners, which doesn't mean women's only  though.
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