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HISTORY AND CULTURE , NATURE , ACTIVITY , HOTSPRING

A Trip to the Origin Place of Legends,
Mt. Horaiji and Yuya Onsen

  • A Trip to the Origin Place of Legends,  Mt. Horaiji and Yuya Onse

In Shinshiro City, Aichi Prefecture, Mt. Horaiji and Yuya Onsen are known to many as “power spots,” spiritual places of health and healing.
Read on for a trip that takes you to power spots in the middle of nature.

Mt. Horaiji

Mt. Horaiji

In Shinshiro City, Aichi Prefecture is the towering Mt. Horaiji (altitude of 695 meters), a treasure trove of nature. The entire mountain is also nationally designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty and a Natural Monument. Mt. Horaiji can be enjoyed in every season, but the autumn leaves are especially spectacular, with large numbers of sightseers visiting each year during the best viewing season in late November.

Midway up the sacred mountain is the ancient Horaiji Temple, founded around 1,300 years ago by the legendary mountain monk Rishu.

Mt. Horaiji

It is said that Rishu used Mt. Horaiji wood to carve a statue of “the Buddha of healing” Yakushi Nyorai and when Emperor Monmu (683-707) fell ill, Rishu rode on a phoenix to the capital and prayed to cure the emperor.
The grateful emperor constructed an elegant temple on the mountain where Rishu lived and named it Horaiji Temple, meaning “Temple of the Coming Phoenix.”

Horaiji Temple

Founded by Rishu and revered as a sacred mountain, Horaiji Temple is the head temple of the Gochi group, part of the Shingon sect of Buddhism with the statue of Yakushi Nyorai as the principal object of worship.
Widely known from ancient times as “a place where fishing and hunting are prohibited,” after the temple was established it was patronized by Emperor Monmu, the third Tokugawa shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651) and other influential people over a period of about 1,300 years. Haiku poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) and many other representative figures of Japanese culture are also recorded to have visited the temple.

  • Horaiji Temple
  • Horaiji Temple
  • Horaiji Temple

Horaisan Toshogu Shrine

Horaisan Toshogu Shrine

Horaisan Toshogu Shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu(1542-1616), the founder of the Edo shogunate. His grandson Tokugawa Iemitsu decided to build Horaisan Toshogu Shrine halfway up Mt. Horaiji after visiting Nikko’s Toshogu Shrine and being deeply impressed by the origin story recorded there about Ieyasu’s father and mother praying for an heir at Horaiji Temple, which resulted in the birth of Ieyasu.

Yuya Onsen

Yuya Onsen

Counted among Japan’s top 100 hot springs, Yuya Onsen was discovered by mountain monk Rishu. The source of the hot springs, Hoekisen, has a long history of being effective against all kinds of illnesses.
In addition to overnight stays or day trips to enjoy the hot springs at one of the ryokans or hotels, there’s also a free footbath you can use.
  • Yuya Onsen
  • Yuya Onsen
  • Yuya Onsen
Guest House Hoo! Hoo!

Information for foreigner travelers (English only) is available from Guest House Hoo! Hoo! located along the Yuya Onsen ravine. Please send an email if you would like to stay overnight at one of Yuya Onsen’s ryokans.

<Guest House Hoo! Hoo!>
【HP】http://hooihooi.com/
【Email】info@hooihooi.com

Taste Japanese Sake Houraisen at Yuya Onsen

At Yuya Onsen’s ryokans, you can taste Japanese sake brand Houraisen from Sekiya Brewery Co., Ltd., a well-loved and long-established sake brewery in Okumikawa.

Houraisen Kuu

In particular, Houraisen Kuu is a Japanese sake made from high-quality sake rice in a harmony of umami savoriness and sweetness. Made with a polished rice ratio of 40% and designated as the highest-grade of sake known as Junmai Daiginjo, you’ll definitely want to try this sake at Okumikawa’s ryokan or Japanese restaurants.

Tokugawa Ieyasu and Tora Doji Omamori (Souvenir)

Tora Doji Omamori

Based on a legend about the birth of Tokugawa Ieyasu, roly-poly Tora Doji, which literally means “tiger boy,” are good luck amulets known as omamori that are sold at Horaisan Toshogu Shrine.

Souvenirs

Souvenirs

On Mt. Horaiji live Scops Owls, which are said to have a beautiful and distinctive call.
Believed to be signs of good luck, in addition to owl-shaped omamori for sale at Mt. Horaiji and Horaisan Toshogu Shrine, it is also possible to find owl goods at stores in the area.

Gourmet

When visiting Mt. Horaiji, one local specialty you’ll want to try is “gohei-mochi.”
Gohei-mochi is crushed rice on a stick that is then covered in miso or soy sauce and grilled. This traditional, regional cuisine of Okumikawa has a savory, sweet taste with a delightful aroma.
Try it at Okame Chaya or Restaurant Kasasugi along the temple’s approach on Mt. Horaiji or at Inaka Chaya Matsuya in the vicinity of Yuya Onsen Station.

Okame Chaya

Okame Chaya

【Address】1 Kido, Kadoya, Shinshiro City
【Business Hours】9:00-18:00
【Holidays】Irregular holidays
【URL】https://www.okuminavi.jp/search/detail.php?id=595 (Website in Japanese only)

 

Restaurant Kasasugi

Restaurant Kasasugi

【Address】45 Shimoura, Kadoya, Shinshiro City
【Business Hours】9:00-16:00
【Holidays】Open every day
【URL】https://www.okuminavi.jp/search/detail.php?id=756 (Website in Japanese only)

 

Inaka Chaya Matsuya

Inaka Chaya Matsuya

【Address】59-8 Takinoue, Toyooka, Shinshiro City
【Business Hours】9:00-17:00
【Holidays】Fridays
【URL】
https://www.okuminavi.jp/search/detail.php?id=600 (Website in Japanese only)

 

Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro

Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro

In addition to purchasing local Okumikawa souvenirs, you can use a footbath run with Yuya Onsen hot spring water.
【Address】329-7 Gotanda, Yatsukaho, Shinshiro City
【Business Hours】9:00-18:00
【Holidays】Open every day (footbath closed on Thursdays)
【URL】
https://intl.okuminavi.jp/en/spot/detail/9/

 

Model Course

《Day 1》

[Depart 9:15] Fujigaoka Station Bus Stop (City of Nagoya)
   ↓(Highway Bus Shinshiro Nagoya Fujigaoka Line “Yama-no-Minatogo” 66 min.)
[Arrive 10:21] Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro Minami Bus Stop
   ↓
[Depart 10:30] Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro Minami Bus Stop
   ↓ (S Bus Yuya Onsen Mokkulu Shinshiro Line [Bound for Mt. Horaiji Sancho] 42 min.)
[Arrive 11:12] Mt. Horaiji Sancho Bus Stop
   ↓
Walk up Mt. Horaiji (Stay for approx. 4 hours)
From Mt. Horaiji main temple to the entrance of the temple’s approach has around 1,425 stone steps, taking approx. 1 hour and 15 min. one-way

Mt. Horaiji

  • Mt. Horaiji
  • Mt. Horaiji

   ↓
[Depart 15:33] Horaiji Temple Bus Stop (Toyotetsu Bus Taguchi Shinshiro Line (Shinshiro Municipal Hospital) 21 min.)
   ↓
[Arrive 15:54] Yatsukaho Bus Stop
   ↓(Walk approx. 5 min.)
[Arrive 16:00] Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro
   ↓
Shopping at Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro (Stay for approx. 1 hour)

Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro

  • Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro
  • Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro

   ↓
[Depart 17:10] Roadside Station Mokkulu Shinshiro
   ↓(Walk approx. 13 min.)
[Depart 17:29] Mikawa-togo Station
   ↓(JR Iida Line [Bound for Kamisuwa] 25 min.)
[Arrive 17:54] Yuya Onsen Station
   ↓
Stay overnight at Yuya Onsen

Yuya Onsen

  • Yuya Onsen
  • Yuya Onsen

※Time schedule on weekdays and Saturdays (Since the schedule on Sundays, public holidays and Dec. 29-Jan. 3 varies, the model route above cannot be used.)

《Day 2》

Explore the area around Yuya Onsen, eat gohei-mochi at Inaka Chaya Matsuya, etc. Return via the JR Iida Line.

Explore the area around Yuya Onsen

  • Inaka Chaya Matsuya
  • Explore the area around Yuya OnsenExplore the area around Yuya Onsen
  • Explore the area around Yuya Onsen