Summer Hikes Begin: Mt Yotei Open for 2018
Offering one of the most spectacular hiking routes, Mt Yotei is open for summer hiking.
Every year, a traditional ceremony is conducted by Kutchan Tourism Board to celebrate the official opening of Mt Yotei for the summer hiking season. Held at Lake Hangetsu, the event prays for the safety of hikers. Watch the video below.
The ceremony began with two Shinto priests leading a short prayer and offering Japanese sake along with fresh produce to the mountain. They prayed and asked for the blessing of the mountain to protect hikers during the summer.
Locals were also offered a Kutchan specialty dish which is traditionally distributed at the summer trail opening ceremony since 1905. The beancurd pockets filled with mochi are given to hikers to help them recover from hiking.
The ceremony was followed by traditional drumming from the local taiko group and ended as locals commemorated the day with the first hike of summer up Mt Yotei.