CHAPTER 20: On Mount Inari

CHAPTER 20: On Mount Inari

Fushimi Inari Taisha winds up the slopes of Mt. Inari like a coiled dragon made of vermilion gates; while many visitors go no farther than the first station, Mom, Laurie, Kaitlyn, and I made the hour-long trek to the summit, as a “training climb” that would let me assess our potential pace for the upcoming (and far longer) climb of Fuji.

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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 8: Horses’ Bells and Dragons’ Eyes*

Chapter 8: Horses’ Bells and Dragons’ Eyes*

Morioka City is the capital of Iwate Prefecture, in the Tōhōku region of northern Honshu (Japan’s largest island). I arrived at Morioka Station via shinkansen (bullet train) on the morning of June 3, intending to spend my rest day exploring the city and learning a little about the people and culture of Tōhōku–although I had no definite plans. Little did I know . . .

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