To experience a real sanctuary in the seclusion of the mountains, try doing a pilgrim at Mount Mitake. The mountain is part of the mountainous terrain separating the city of Hiroshima from its northwest subdivisions. After the long travel, you can stay at a century-old mountain lodge Shukubo Komadori Sanso which offers a real-life experience of religious waterfall training.
The lodge doesn’t only offer a warm accommodation to pilgrims but also ascetic training of being hit by a waterfall. If you want to participate in this kind of training you have to wake up as early as 5:30 in the morning. Then, you have to prepare yourself for another journey to the waterfalls which takes about 30 minutes.
Along the way, you will see mother nature’s beauty at its best. An example of this is the 350-year-old cedar tree called Tengu-no-Koshikake.
Upon reaching the river’s upstream, you will purify yourself with divine sake and after a while, you will reach the Ayahiro waterfall surrounded by rocky walls. There are strict rules implemented in doing the training to prevent accidents from happening. The participants will have to cover themselves with loincloth (men) or white robe (women). Then preparatory exercises are performed called: Torifune, Furitama and Otakebi. Torifune is done with one leg put forward and boat calling “Ei” and “Oh.” Furitama is an act of shaking an imaginary soul between your hands. Okatebi is the calling of the gods in a loud manner so that it echoes in the mountains. These are considered as the warm-up.
Each participant will have to place himself under the waterfall one-by-one. Everyone is expected to endure the cold water’s pressure while chanting the name of the God, “Haraedo-no-Okami,” for 10 seconds. After the training, you can then head back to the lodge to enjoy a sumptuous already prepared meal.
Staying at Shukubo Komadori Sanso will surely provide an uplifting spiritual experience as it allows everyone to become one with nature while nurturing the mind, so check it out!