Satoyama Long Weekend Day 3: Mountain Climbing

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On the last day of Satoyama long weekend, we climbed Mt. Watamuki, which is the main mountain in Hino Town.


Mt. Watamuki is the object of worship in Hino Town and it is connected to Watamuki shrine. There is a small shrine at the summit and before the Hino Festival which is held at Watamuki shrine in May, some members of the festival climb the mountain to conduct a ceremony there. It used to be a mountain of Shugendo and some monks trained there. You may have seen Shugendo monks in Hayao Miyazaki’s animation film Princess Mononoke. A character called Jiko-bo is one of these monks.


If you are visiting Kyoto anyway, you should consider coming to Hino Town since it is only one and half hours from Kyoto. You can enjoy Satoyama cycling and mountain climbing here. Unlike climbing famous mountains such as Mt. Fuji or mountains in North Alps, you can experience a local mountain here. You can see how a mountain is part of Satoyama culture and a local community by visiting the shrine and the village first before climbing the mountain.


In Hino, mountain climbing isn’t just a regular outdoor sport, it is a form of worship and part of Satoyama lifestyle.


Originally I wanted to walk from our house to get to the foot of mountain but after the sports festival, plus taking Takumi, it wouldn’t be a good idea, so we decided to drive to the foot.


My legs were sore from the sports festival, but I managed to climb to the top and so did Takumi and Nick who attended 3 to 4 events including 1000 meter running.


It was Takumi’s first time to climb Mt. Watamuki, so I am very glad that he did it.

takumi and nick

It was a beautiful day and the view at the summit was absolutely breathtaking.



I made a video about it, which will be ready tomorrow. So you can watch it to find out more about our climbing.


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