Untapped Kumamoto

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After refreshing at the foot bath, we headed to Fudo-iwa.


There is a mountain called 蒲生山(Kamou-yama, means Mt.Kamou) which is about 388m, in the  Mitama-Area in Yamaga-city.


We can see this 不動岩(Fudou-iwa, means Fudou rock) which appears from the middle of Mt.Kamou.


Fudou-iwa consists of 3 rocks which are 前不動(Mae-Fudou, front-Fudou), 中不動(Naka-Fudou, middle-Fudou) and 後不動(Ushiro-Fudo, back-Fudou).


Source : 山鹿探訪なび https://yamaga-tanbou.jp.e.zh.hp.transer.com/spot/1206/


The one we could see is the front-Fudou and the hight is about 80m.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


I’ve found this youtube video which introduces Fudou-iwa with its drone.


It’s exciting to watch it since it covers everywhere all around Fudou-iwa.


Please check it!


Fudou-iwa is composed of gabbro which is over 500 million years old.


At that time, Japan was still part of the continent.


At first, the gabbro was one part but over years, by collapsing and weathering, it had been destroyed little by little and also with the flow of the sea water, it’d broken into small pieces and produced round pebbles and sand.


They had been gathered and formed layers on the bottom of the sea.


Due to the pressure from the bottom of the sea, Fudou-iwa appeared and shows how it looks now.


Here, we can see the great mother nature.


You may have heard of Japanese anthem before.
The lyrics goes like this…


It was translated in English by Basil Hall Chamberlain, who was a British and a scholar of Japan.


A thousand years of happy life be thine!
 Live on, my Lord, till what are pebbles now,
 By age united, to great rocks shall grow,
 Whose venerable sides the moss doth line.


In this anthem, there is a line which sings about さざれ石 (sazare-ishi, means small gabbro).


Source : https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/さざれ石


It symbolizes how strong and powerful we will be if we can unite with the same will and we hope it will last forever.



In 平安時代(Heian-jidai, means Heian period 794-1185), many 山伏(Yamabushi, means Buddhist monks in mountains) stayed in Mt.Kamou to practice asceticism to seek for spiritual enlightenment.


Source : https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/山伏


They had built their huts around Fudou-iwa and practiced hard.


Now, there is a shrine on the bottom of the front-Fudou.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


The old shrine was devastated by the typhoon in 2015 and the new one was rebuilt in 2016.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


The front-Fudou was much huger than we expected!


I tried to capture whole looks but from there, it was impossible.


It was sacred moment to feel how long its history stretches back.




Near the shrine, we found a path up to the mountain.


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


It had just started raining and was dark so we didn’t climb up to the mountain but some people reported how it was onto the top and they succeeded to see the superb view.


If you’re an adventurous person, it’d worth a try!


Next time we visit there, I’m sure we’ll do adventure and admire the breathtaking view!


Till then,  we just climbed the stairs a little and enjoyed talking and relaxing.


It was like a secret hideaway just for us.


While we were sitting on the stairs, some bans came and we saw many school kids.


It seemed like they came to Kumamoto for their sports competitions and dropped by Fudo-iwa.


They said ‘hi’ to us and were so lovely(only one boy noticed my Indian friends and said ‘Namaste’!).


Photo credit : Chieko @untappedkumamoto


In front of the parking space(only for around 5 cars), there is an observatory so we moved to there and relaxed again.


After a long drive from early morning(please check the other articles in Yamaga), I was very tired so admiring this nice view healed my eyes and made me relaxed.


It was cloudy and a little raining at that time so the view was not clear but if it’s sunny, you’ll be able to capture 雲仙(Unzen which is an island and part of Nagasaki) and  admire beautiful scenery.


I’ve found there were some interesting event held at Fudou-iwa, one of them is climbing to the top of the mountain and doing yoga beside of the front-Fudo.



山鹿遊び 灯籠ヨガロック(Lantern yoga rock)


Nowadays, visiting ‘Power spots’ has become very popular and this Fudou-iwa is considered to be one of them.


Visit Fudou-iwa with nice climbing shoes so that you’ll be able to admire the breathtaking scenery and feel sacred from the mother nature.


【Information and links】


Official website in English


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