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Mitsumine Shrine: A world of power and beauty nestled atop a mountain in Saitama

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By Runako Thornhill

Sitting at the summit of picturesque Mount Mitsumine in Chichibu is the ancient Mitsumine shrine. The shrine’s storied history goes back to the 7th century and the enshrined gods are believed to have created the islands of Japan. The journey there is a refreshing drive up gently winding mountain roads. A visit to Mitsumine Shrine is the perfect day trip for those in need of a natural recharge among the trees.

Markers of History

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The shrine’s storied history goes back to the 7th century. Photo: Runako Thornhill

At the highest point of the shrine’s grounds stands a large bronze statue of its legendary founder, the ancient Japanese prince, Yamato Takeru. He appears in Japanese mythology and is believed by some to have existed. The real version of the sword he is depicted with the statue is said to be the one used during enthronement ceremonies for Japan’s Emperors.

A stone’s throw from the statue is a monument to the founder of Kyokushin karate, Masutatsu Oyama. He regularly trained on the holy mountain and is celebrated there annually on the anniversary of his death.

Worship from A Distance

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A sea of clouds Photo: PIXTA/ massann3725

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Interesting sidenote:

Masu Oyama hailed from Korea, and as such must be one of the few to have a statue erected of himself in Japan.

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