CHAPTER 20: On Mount Inari

CHAPTER 20: On Mount Inari

July 16, 2018* This photo supplement tracks the events in CLIMB: Leaving Safe and Finding Strength on 100 Summits in Japan. The captions offer “extra features” that didn’t make it into the book. Fushimi Inari Taisha (Fushimi Inari Shrine) is the head shrine for worship of the Shintō deity Inari Ōkami, the god of swordsmiths, fertility, and rice (also often worshipped as a patron of those engaged in other kinds of creative endeavors). An enormous number of Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan have Inari subshrines on their precincts; the Inari shrine is usually easily identifiable by the tunnel of brilliant

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CHAPTER 18: Goddess of All that Flows

Kōbō Daishi (774-835 – also known as Kūkai), the priest who brought Shingon Buddhism to Japan, sought the goddess’ protection for Kōyasan shortly after establishing his center for Shingon worship and study on the sacred mountaintop plateau in the early ninth century. In fact, Kōbō Daishi himself established the shrine on top of Bentendake. Although the site is small, the relationship between Benten/Benzaiten and Kōyasan continues to this day.

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CHAPTER 17: All Roads Lead to Kyoto

CHAPTER 17: All Roads Lead to Kyoto

Hieizan (Mt. Hiei) – July 2-3, 2018 This photo supplement tracks the events in Chapter 12 of CLIMB: Leaving Safe and Finding Strength on 100 Summits in Japan. The captions offer “extra features” that didn’t make it into the book. To break up the nearly 8-hour journey from Mt. Daisen in Tottori Prefecture to sacred Kōyasan in Wakayama, I made an overnight stop in the Kyoto area–but this time, I bypassed the ancient capital itself and headed into the mountains that ring Kyoto for an overnight stay (and climb) on Mt. Hiei. It only takes about 90 minutes to travel from Kyoto

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CHAPTER 16: Daisen’s Giant Chipmunk

CHAPTER 16: Daisen’s Giant Chipmunk

Mt. Daisen: July 1, 2018 This photo supplement tracks the events in CLIMB: Leaving Safe and Finding Strength on 100 Summits in Japan. The captions offer “extra features” that didn’t make it into the book. At the time of its completion in 2011, the Tokyo Skytree was the largest tower, and the second-largest man-made structure in the world. As of 2020, it remains in the top five, and is easily visible from many of Tokyo’s 23 wards, as well as the neighboring mountains. At night, and on holidays, the tower lights up in a variety of colors. I loved being able to

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Hiking The Lake Trail (Tokyo)

Hiking The Lake Trail (Tokyo)

Last weekend, I hiked the first leg of a multi-year, segmented hike of the Kantō Fureai no Michi (sometimes translated “Kantō Friendship Trail”). The trail is 1,799km (1,118 miles) long, and passes through seven prefectures (Tokyo, Saitama, Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Chiba, and Kanagawa) as it circumnavigates the Kantō (Japan’s largest flatland plain).

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