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Mountain shrine and lovely fragrant wintersweet

                                                                                                                                                                           Mar.14.2018

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I am Ms. A from the Saitama Prefecture Tourism Department.

February is still the cold season in Japan, but it is when I went to Nagatoro to see the flowers blooming.

 

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When you leave the retro-looking Nagatoro Station, you can see a big torii (Shinto shrine archway) in the distance.

 

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Go through this torii, and keep going straight until you arrive at the “Hodosan Shrine”.

 

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The Hodosan Shrine consists of shrines at both the foot of the mountain, and at the summit.

The grounds at the bottom has a large torii, a colorful shrine, and various sculptures.

 

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Since I was going to climb to the summit, I prayed for no injuries at the shrine at the foot of the mountain. When praying, you throw money into the offertory box.

 

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Since I was climbing in February, there was still some snow on the path and the road was a little frozen in the daytime. If the road is really frozen, you will need “Crampons” to put on your shoes.

 

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It will take about 1 hour and 10 minutes to get from the foot of the mountain to the summit. I took a break midway, but this mountain is easy to climb. You can enjoy the scenery while walking.

 

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When you start to near the summit, you can see the torii above the stairs.

The okumiya (rear shrine) is located a little before this.

 

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Compared to the richly colored shrine at the foot of the mountain, okumiya has a quiet appearance.

I arrived at the shrine safely, so I expressed my gratitude at this shrine.

 

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Grilled oranges were sold close to the warm bonfire.

 

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If you go to the left of the shrine, you can  see the fragrant wintersweet. When you go close to the tree, you can really smell the sweet aroma. The fragrance is not strong, but it has a clean scent that is similar to high class soap.

 

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The flowers are yellow, the petals overlap each other, and are transparent in the sunlight, just like candy.

 

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The scent of the fragrant wintersweet calms the mind, and I could feel my fatigue disappearing.

 

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In Hodosan Shrine’s fragrant wintersweet garden, there are benches everywhere.

I took sandwiches and coffee to enjoy under the blooming trees.

 

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I was tired, so I took the ropeway back down the mountain.

It was 480 yen for a one way adult ticket. (Roundtrip tickets are 820 yen for adults)

 

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During the fragrant wintersweet season on Mt. Hodosan, the car comes in 10 minute intervals.

It takes more than an hour to climb down the mountain on foot, but the ropeway only takes 5 minutes.

 

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At the summit of Mt. Hodosan, there are also plum blossoms in the fragrant wintersweet garden.

Please be sure to go flower viewing on Mt. Hodosan in February.

 

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Ropeway ticket One way Adult 480yen ,Child 240yen

Round trip Adult 820yen,Child 420yen

(Child from 6 to 11 years old)
Ropeway Operating time

[1/11-11/10]Up 9:40-16:30 Down 9:40-17:00

[2/21-6/10,7/11-10/20] Up 9:40-17:00 Down 9:40-17:20

[Other]  Up 9:40-16:00 Down 9:40-16:30

Access by train https://www.nagatoro.gr.jp/en/access/index.html
Address 2595, Nagatoro, Nagatoro-machi Chichibu-gun, Saitama, 369-1305, Japan
Map Google map
Official site

Nagatoromachi Tourist Association web site

https://www.nagatoro.gr.jp/en/  (English)

CHOKOTABI http://www.pref.saitama.lg.jp/chokotabi-saitama/eng/travelmag/09.html