Hiking in the Forest of the Gods

(Click here to start the Mount Mitake series from the beginning.) The portion of Mount Mitake’s upper slopes just below the summit is called the Forest of the Gods. With only half a day on the mountain, and half of that dedicated to the hike to the summit and a visit to Musashi-Mitake Shrine, I opted to spend the remaining hour on the path that winds around Mitake’s upper slopes and through the sacred forest. The path begins near the Tengu’s Seat–a giant cedar whose branches grow in unique curves that would, indeed, make perfect perches for the infamous mountain demons of Japanese lore. Just beyond the wooden torii, a

Read more