There's a god for that
abode of kami. A well-known example of this is Mount Fuji. The Japanese believe that the mountain itself is the sacred body of the kami Konohana-no-sakuya-hime. This type of kami is also believed to reside in certain trees or rocks. I do not know the name of the kami that inhabits this place, but I feel its presence.
Up and down the valley, priests and monks and lay people have – for centuries – built temples and shrines to the gods that inhabit this land. Without a map or a guidebook or even a brochure to point these out, I leave to chance the discovery of these ancient places of worship. And over the course of the next few hours, as each shrine is revealed, I allow the spirits of earth and rock and air to awaken my own spirit. As I walk the untrodden paths to forgotten shrines, I walk in the very footsteps of generations past; as I ascend the cut-rock stairs to temples, I ascend to heavenly grace; as I breathe in scented pines and cedars, I breathe in the blessings of the gods.
The grace and blessings of Iwami Ginzan are like a warm greeting from someone in your forgotten past, someone who smiles in a way that lets you know they approve of the changes that have occurred since you last met.
Perhaps this greeting is easy for me to feel because I am now open to receiving it. There are few other visitors today, and those whom I pass are not in large groups. There is one young couple on bikes, one family walking, a pair of older visitors, and a lone traveler lost in meditation.
And there are the omnipresent gods.