Japan Today
Image: PIXTA/ kazukiatuko

Kagikake Pass: See Mount Daisen at its best

By Laura Payne

Mount Daisen in Tottori Prefecture is known for its array of beautiful views. Due to the mountain’s unique shape, its appearance changes depending on where you are. In some areas, the peak resembles Mount Fuji’s conical shape, but in other places, Daisen widens itself into a wall of stone. Kagikage Pass is considered one of the best viewpoints on Daisen’s southern side—a place where the mountain’s rock wall is on display.

Located next to one of the main local roads, cars and tour buses traveling around the mountain often take some time to stop here and admire the scenery. In this one view, some modern results of the mountain’s long history are clearly visible.

Sacred Nature

The perfect vantage point Image: PIXTA/ dekoboko

The carpet of trees seen from Kagikake Pass is one of the largest old-growth beech forests in western Japan. The health of these woods is closely connected to the spiritual traditions of Daisen.

Shinto, Buddhism and Shugendo—a practice that combines various spiritual beliefs—have deemed Daisen a sacred place for centuries. At one point, the mountain itself was even considered to be a deity. One result of this high spiritual regard was a ban on logging Daisen’s forests that lasted until recent times. This protection created today’s expansive woods, which locals still strive to preserve.

From Kagikake Pass, visitors can enjoy the beauty of Daisen’s forest in multiple seasons. In spring, trees are bright green with shinryoku (newly grown leaves). The greenery becomes fuller and richer in color as it grows throughout the summer, and during fall the trees transform into a sea of orange and red.

Pilgrimage History

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

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