THE MOUNTAIN OF REBIRTH
According to the legend, Mt. Haguro was discovered by a mysterious prince named Nojo Taishi 能除太子 (also known as Prince Hachiko) in 593.
Who is Prince Hachiko?
Prince Hachiko 蜂子皇子 was born in 542. His father, the Emperor Sushun 崇峻天皇, got assassinated by his jealous rival, Soga no Umako 蘇我馬子 in 592. Following his cousin's advice, Prince Shotoku Taishi, Hachiko decided to flee the capital to find a sacred Buddhist mountain where he could pray for the end of despair in the world. The said mountain was to be found in what was called the "Land of Dewa."
He left for a long journey, during which he met many suffering persons. Hachiko "absorbed" their pain with his magical powers and delivered them from their illnesses. All the pain he had absorbed made his physical appearance atrocious, warping his facial features into something monstrous. But despite his scary features, Prince Hachiko was a loving and compassionate man, almost a saint.
He found Mt. Haguro, guided by a three-legged crow, known to be a messenger from the gods, and decided to make it a holy place of Buddhism in 593.
This is the legend as it is told in the manuscript Haguro's Origins (羽黒山縁起), written in 1644.
The Shinto god worshipped in Mt. Haguro is Ukanomitama ウカノミタマ, goddess of cereals and crops.
MAY - EARLY DECEMBER
DON'T MISS THE BUS!
If you want to climb the stone stairway, you will need to get off at Hagurosan Zuishinmon 羽黒山随神門. If you want to go to the top directly, you will need to get off at Hagurosan Sancho 羽黒山山頂.
IT'S A RELIGIOUS PLACE...
We welcome all kinds of hikers! However, we would like you to remember this is a sacred place and that you should be considerate of the people around you, do not be too loud and do not litter. Thank you!
COME WITH THE APPROPRIATE GEAR !
Comfy before pretty! You will need good sports shoes (sneakers, hiking boots...) to climb up the 2446 stone steps of Haguro's stairway. Please leave your high heels or pumps in your luggage—many suffered ankle injuries for visiting Haguro in the wrong footwear.