Tanzawa Oyama Quasi National Park is a quintessential park, a home to many attractions including Tanzawa Mountains, Miyagase Dam, Hayato Great Falls and the religious sight Oyama Mountain. While all of these beautiful destinations are pretty accessible, Oyama Mountain is particular popular tourist spot.
Located in the West of Kanagawa Prefecture, Oyama Mountain is the sacred sanctuary with scenic landscape, deep history and religious significance. The mountain is the perfect place for nature observing. Whether to take in the greenery of spring, the fall foliage in autumn, or hiking in summer, Oyama Mountain offers visitors a chance to enjoy rich beautiful nature with touring historic holy sites including the Oyama-dera Temple and Oyama Afuri Shrine. The best access to the mountain is from Isehara Station on the Odakyu Line, which is just about an hour of travel from Shinjuku.
Oyama Mt. exudes many flexible trails; depending on your fitness level, you can choose from men’s, women’s trail or a cable car that brings you to the sub Oyama Afuri Shrine. Make up your mind, then prepare yourself for the beauty of the soft, intense green forest, presided by many Buddhist and Shinto statues hewed out of solid stones with water races over rocks in the creek below. Approximately half way to the sub Oyama Afuri Shrine, situated Oyama-dera Temple, a religious site with a steep stairway guarded by exotic demon bronze statues.
Moments later, you will reach the larger-sub Oyama Afuri shrine. The shrine, steeped in faith, is believed to bless visitors with life giving rain and good luck. Surrounded with many maple trees, the shrine filled to capacity during autumn leaves viewing season when the entire area becomes a riot of red leaves. The precinct’s sake barrels are also the popular spot for photographs. Inside the shrine, there is a pond with the dragon head drinking fountain. Visitors are encouraged to drink and bring some home. This fresh natural spring water is pure and cold; many local restaurants use it for beverage chilling. The shrine offers the picturesque panoramic view of Kanagawa’s area.
Then from the sub shrine, you can begin the hike to the top, which can takes up to two hours. There are some steep and slippery sections so climbing up to the summit visiting the main shrine, you will need a good pair of lungs and legs. On a clear day, successful hikers will be blessed with the breathtaking view overlooking Fujisan, Tokyo Sky Tree and many attractions in Kanto region.
Food here is a serious plus, visitors are also encouraged to try tofu, the local specialty made with pure water from the mountain at dozen of restaurants, shops and inns located near the cable car station. Also, be sure to purchase the area’s famous handmade wooden pinning tops; they are believed to bring good luck and also make great souvenirs.
As you walk leisurely at religious sites on Oyama Mountain with the wind sighing through the trees above, the birds singing in your ears, it is hard to believe that you are just 60 minutes from the bustling Shinjuku.
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