Oyama, the spiritual mountain in Kanagawa

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

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I went to Oyama Afuri Shrine in Kanagawa. The nearest railway station is Isehara ( Odakyu Line ). Since it’s not far from the Tokyo area, many people visit it for worshiping the Oyama temple and Oyama Afuri Shirine. This shrine is said to be founded around B.C.97.

It also has nice trekking courses. I saw many young people going hiking with relatively comprehensive mountain climbing gear. We reached to the top by cable car. Only 6 minutes’ ride brings us to the top. We could see Sagami Bay and Enoshima from the top.

During the Edo era, people climbed this mountain to worship just like climbing Mt. Fuji. Some groups of people stayed at inns at the foot of the mountain.

Spiritual or religious leaders called Sendoushi worked as guides and teachers. Nowadays trains or cars enable us to make day trips and people don’t always stay at inns so some inns closed down ( too bad ! ).

   

 We stayed at an inn called “ Asada”. This is one of a few inns which is still providing accommodation for tourists. This inn is amazing. The room we stayed in was very nice. Tofu dishes are famous in Oyama and this inn also serves Tofu Kaiseki and Tofu breakfast. The food was all incredibly delicious.

They served many different kinds but let me show you three of them.

Here is the some served as relish. I really like the style and setting. We use this tray to serve offerings to gods. In Shinto, after offering food to gods, we share the food with gods. All tofu is fantastic but this soy milk and tofu was out of the world. We can make our own yuba or boiled soymilk skim as you drink hot sake. Tofu gratin and yuba rolls are worth trying, too.

 Good water from the mountain makes sake, tofu and konnyaku (devil’s tongue) great. Next time I’d like to visit here in autumn to view colored leaves. I also miss the tofu I enjoyed. I also have to pay a visit to  Oyama temple on the way to Oyama Afuri Shrine.