Mount Mitsutoge

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Mount Mitsutoge is the collective name for a group of three mountains bordering the municipalities of Tsuru, Nishikatsura, and Fujikawaguchiko. The three mountains are Mt. Kaiun (1,785m), Mt. Osutaka (1,775m), and Mt. Kenashi (1,732m). Mt. Kaiun has three distinctive peaks, which are thought to account for the name of Mt. Mitsutoge, or “Three Peaks Mountain.” Mitsutoge offers spectacular views of Mt. Fuji from its summit, while the cliffs of Byobuiwa just below the summit are popular with rock climbing enthusiasts.

Mt. Mitsutoge was once known as Misuzumine, or “Peak of the Deities’ Bells.” During the Nara period (710-794), it was established as a holy site by the monk En no Gyoja, who was the founder of Shugendo, a complex syncretic religion sometimes described as ascetic mountain Buddhism. In the late Edo period (1603-1868), a priest named Kutai revived Mitsutoge’s status as a sacred site in mountain worship. Devotees still believe that visiting Misuzu Gongen Shrine on the mountain will bring good fortune.

Many kinds of wild flowers grow on Mt. Mitsutoge, which is also known as “the mountain of flowers.” Of particular note is the large-flowered cypripedium, a vivid magenta bloom more commonly known as a lady slipper orchid. Spring, when the cherry blossoms are out in full force, is an especially popular time to visit the mountain.

Near the Nishikatsura Exit of the Mitsutoge Trail is the Mitsutoge Green Center, which provides lodgings, rest areas, hot-spring baths, and a cafeteria. The herbal baths are especially delightful after a long day’s hike.


Venue Address

Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun

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