Temple Lodging in Japan

Mount Osore
TEL 0175-22-3825 including 2 meals 12000yen
Access "JR Shimokita station" > (43 minutes bus) >"Osorezan bus stop"
Parking There is a parking lot

Mount Osore (Osorezan) is a sacred mountain located on the Shimokita Peninsula at the northernmost end of the main island of Honshu. It is famous for Itako, which is a mediator believed to call over dead souls. From ancient times in Japan, there is a belief that the souls of the dead climb a mountain and Osorezan is regarded as a sacred place where the souls of the dead gather. An Itako acts as a mediator between the souls of the dead and the land of the living. It is said that Itako are able to communicate the words of the dead souls who were close to you.

Itako are here only during the grand festivals in the summer and autumn, but the temple located on this mountain is surrounded by natural scenery that appears to the world of the living as if it were a land of the dead.

Inside the precinct, you will first find scenery called "Jigoku (Hell)," covered by volcanic rock. The sulfuric atmosphere belching out from underground makes you imagine the dreary world of death. Many crows hover about and a wind mill that is believed to console the souls of dead children is rotated in the wind.

Having passed this area, you will encounter a beautiful lake called Lake Uzoriko. In comparison with Jigoku (Hell), the shore of this lake is called "Gokurakuhama (Heaven's shore)," which represents the world of Buddha. The lake has strong acidity and the water is a marvelous emerald green. It shines mysteriously and makes us forget the time while watching the scenery.

In the precinct, there are four hot springs, each with different effects. There are outdoor baths and indoor baths; the indoor baths are very big, and shampoo and body soap are provided. A towel and a yukata robe are available in each room. The outdoor baths are divided by type, such as men, women and mixed, etc. You can bathe at anytime 24 hours a day, but you can relax early in the morning or in the evening when the general visitors are gone. The outdoor baths have a rather high concentration of sulfur, so depending on the person, bathing there for a long time should be avoided. However, the outdoor baths make your skin very smooth.

The shukubo's rooms are as clean as any hotel room. All the guests eat dinner together in the large hall from 18:00. Before eating, words expressing gratitude for the food are chanted together. The dishes include shojin (vegetarian) cuisine with local dishes. They are served on red lacquered plates arranged on a red tray. The portions are sufficient, and they all taste good. You will be satisfied with the meal.

We got up at 6:00 in the morning, and from 6:30, they held services in the main hall. Basically, they do it to console the souls of the deceased by chanting sutra and burning incense. Some local people were there in spite of the fact that it was early in the morning. After we completed it, we moved to the Jizodo (Hall of the Jizo) and gave prayers there as well. After that, we walked into the back of the hall, and worshipped the principal image and the image of Jikaku-Daishi Ennin who founded the temple. I don't think you can have such an experience unless you stay at this shukubo. The principal image made me feel that I had never seen a jizo image like this before. It was very special and wonderful.

Please confirm the latest information at the time of lodging.