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Kyoto's mountain monsters encountered at Kitayama/Tototoge and Nishiyama/Matsuoyama

August 10, "Mountain Day," was approaching again this year.When you walk in the mountains on trail or hiking jobs, you encounter "wonders" and "fears" that you cannot encounter when walking in the city.The following is a list of the most common reasons for this.

Surrounded by mountains on three sides, Higashiyama, Kitayama, and Nishiyama, Kyoto is a place of scenic beauty. Mountains have long been the object of religious worship and are familiar to the local people. Most of the mountains are relatively gentle and do not require heavy equipment. Even so, I have had near misses with black bears, been startled by snakes snaking around my feet, had my feet covered in blood from being sucked by mountain lions, and had animal bones fall in front of me.

Bear Beware sign found in the mountains

Kitayama.Thief Valley.There is a mountain pass named Its name comes from the old days,Because there were bandits living in hiding around here, and they went down to the capital at night to steal.I also hear that When we were walking through the pass, the mountain was in rough shape due to last year's typhoon.

Heading to Thief Valley in the North Mountain

There were no other hikers in sight, and even though it was early afternoon, the area was dimly lit by the trees. The only sound was my own footsteps on the branches. Then, I heard the sound of my own footsteps on a branch,

Kiki, kiki, kiki, kiki. ......

A bird's call came down from overhead, breaking through the stillness. I stopped and looked around, and the chirping stopped. I looked through the trees, but there was no sign of the bird, nor did I hear its wings. When I started walking again, I heard a creak, creak, creak, creak. Moreover, the sound of the bird's voice follows the speed of my walk. When I stop, the chirping stops. Then they start walking again. The voices followed a little behind me at the same speed.

I thought it might be a yokai living in the mountains, but it seemed to be a sound made by the wind blowing and the branches and leaves of the trees rubbing against each other. Whenever the branches and leaves rubbed against each other, they emitted a bird-like sound, as if they were tengu (I don't know if they sound like this or not). I was relieved to find out who it was. But when I stopped walking, the wind stopped, and when I started walking, the wind blew again, causing the branches and leaves to rub against each other, which remains a mystery.


One more thing, another day in the interview.Mt. MatsuoWhen I finished walking the It was hot, I was tired, and all I could think about was going home. I was in a hurry to get back to the moss temple.

suddenly,I heard a tinny, clear tone.A tinkling sound. Once again, a tinkling. I turn around and go back to the direction of the sound,"Mr. Mountain God."The rock with a sacred rope on it is enshrined. According to the plaque, there used to be a shrine of the mountain god in this area.

When entering the mountain, the locals thanked this rock for the safety of their work and the blessings of the mountain.Matsuo. We left Mt. Matsuo with our hands together as if to report to the "mountain god" who still protects all who enter the mountain, that we were able to finish our hike without injury.

roughskin sculpin (Trachidermus fasciatus)

Still, if I had not heard the chirping sound, I would have been a rude person who passed by the mountain god. What was that sound? It sounded like the sound of a Buddhist rin.

I have previously written about my experience of getting lost in the mountains as the path I should have taken disappeared. Although the mountains of Kyoto are low, they are not to be underestimated. They have been visited by ascetic monks, ascetic practitioners, and villagers for more than 1,000 years. Whenever I visit the mountains in the futureI want to walk respectfully while enjoying the wonders I encounter.

The view from the summit of Mt. This kind of view is one of the charms of hiking in the mountains.

What is Kyoto Mystery Exploration?

Tradition that exists everywhere in the city of Kyoto. It is not just a picture, it is secretly alive in this modern age and continues to coexist with people. The two of Office TO, who previously wrote a series of articles "Kyoto's Demon World Exploration" in the monthly magazine Leaf, explore the mysterious "different" world of Kyoto, which was created over 1200 years. I will unravel the story while actually visiting the place. .


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