Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Views From Mount Futago


At 720 mteres, 2,364 ft, above sea level, Mount Futago is the highest point of the Kunisaki Peninsula in northern Oita, Kyushu.

On clear days, looking north past Homeshima Island, the coast of Honshu can be seen.

Like much of Japan, the Kunisaki Peninsula was formed by volcanic activity, and in essence is a lava plateau with a lava dome in its centre with multiple volcanoes. It was formed between 1 and 2 million years ago.

Erosion has left many cliffs and rock formations that can be seen from the top of Mount Futago.

The peninsula is roughly circular with Mount Futago at the centre. Radiating out are 28 valleys that became home to a unique religious culture known as Rokugo Manzan.

Rokugo Manzan incorporated Tendai Buddhism with Usa Hachiman "shinto" into a unique form of shugendo. Shugendo ascetics, known as yamabushi, were often attracted to such powerful geological features.

I had climbed up from Futago-ji Temple, now the head temple of Rokugo Manzan, located on the lower slopes of Mount Futago. I had spent all day walking up from near Kitsuki on the southern edge of the peninsula. My plan was to keep walking until I hit the ferry port on the northern coast.