Monday, June 8, 2015

Torii Kannon // White Cloud Mountain

Last weekend we hiked the coolest mountain!  And, what's even cooler is that it's only about 45 minutes from our house!  Upon moving here, we had no idea how beautiful it would be or how much Japan would really have to offer.  It's been incredible to live here and experience the culture, city life, food, the mountains, and all of the natural beauty.

Torii Kannon, or White Cloud Mountain, as it is commonly called, is in the city of Hanno, about 45 minutes from our base.  The whole area consists of about 3-4 miles of trails up the mountainside that begins with a temple and leads to several statues and shrines.  Below is the map of White Cloud Mountain; we visited all but the red torii gate at the very top.  From each of the statues, the views of the valley and of the other statues were completely breathtaking.  And, not only from their beauty :)  It was actually a decent hike!  My legs are still sore and tired and that was 2 days ago!  (Although, I did have a 3 year old strapped to my back for almost the entire hike, which may have contributed to my aching legs . . . )

The beginning of the hike was probably the steepest, and it lead us to this globe with a figure standing on top of it.  (I am sure that all of the statues and means have significant meanings, I just don't know what any of them are!  I did, however, appreciate their beauty and craftsmanship!)   

From the globe statue, we were able to see the other shrines tucked in the trees on the mountainside.

As we kept hiking, both Bennett and Clara fell asleep.  Will, on the other hand, had tons of energy and it was a lot of fun chatting and walking with him.  He really seemed to enjoy the hike and even appreciated the beauty of the forest around us and the shrines we visited.  It felt like we had some one on one time with him, which made the day that much more special.

At the foot of the Salvation Daikannon, which is the main attraction (pictured above), you can look out and see the view of the hike and statues from whence we came (pictured below).

Hiking White Cloud Mountain was so much fun--it is such a stunning and unique place to visit.  It was a beautiful day, not too hot, and we were able to enjoy being in the outdoors while also experiencing some of Japan's culture that is so distinct and different from anything we have at home in the states.  

GPS Coordinates: 35.879291, 139.182992

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