Spirits Gateway in Northern Tohoku
Osorezan is believed to be a portal for souls. Thus, it is considered one of the most sacred places of Japan and is more often visited by pilgrims than tourists. When Nadia and I got there, it was probably too hot to bring a crowd so we could truly appreciate the place and its atmosphere.
Acid lake, fumes, boiling mud, crows and a pond looking like a blood pool are waiting for the visitor. The fact that it is considered a gateway to Buddhist Hell is perfectly understandable.
The visit would have been every better if the weather had been less good. A grey sky over this scenery ? Probably perfect !
To go to this remote place we had to take a train from Hachinohe to Mutsu and then, a bus up the mountain. Buddhist chanting was the only thing we heard in the bus for the entire ride up and down, they only had one song on repeat, it was very irritating after a while.
The story of the place is, if true, quite impressive, but I will let you learn it by yourself when you go there and read the pamphlet at the entrance of the temple complex. Yes, I’m a tease.
I had the great idea to go walk on a very thin layer of ground and I could have been seriously injured if it had collapsed : under it, boiling water / mud. I could feel it under my feet ! There was no warning at all, nowhere.
I highly recommend a visit there. It was one of the highlights of my 2010 tour of Japan and definitely a place I would go to again. Below are a few of my pictures (the first one was taken by Nadia, obviously since I’m on it), but not my best ones, which will not be displayed on the Internet. It can just give you a little idea of what the site looks like.