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Muroto and the Spirits of the Dead

The Cape itself, Muroto-misaki, is the said to be the 'wildest' spot in Japan, the wild cape where the spirits of the dead depart for the land of the dead in a manner similar to the Maori departure point at Cape Reinga at the northern tip of Aotearoa. It is a place of natural beauty with gnarled trees and rock pools intermingling with the thrashing waves and weird rock formations pummeled by the sea. In addition to the departed there is a fertility rock where people have piled up cairns of pebbles, and the cave were Daishi is said to have gained enlightenment as well as a temple Hotsumisaki-ji perched high on the cliffs above beside the Cape lighthouse. So, all in all, this wild spit represents the whole gamut of life's experiences from death, through fertility to enlightenment, rolled into one natural experience, combining the wildernesses of Cape Reinga and Punakaike of Aotearoa.

A series of images of Hotsumisaki-ji

Knocking stones worn right into the large boulder

Two lizards, perhaps male and female of the same species

The Muroto lighthouse

The Daishi statue at the tip of Muroto

The rocky beach is full of walking tracks with little cairns

The pool shrine

Chris at the cave shrine

The sacred bathing pools by the beach

Heading north up the coast

There was a speed camera even in this desolate although very popular spot

A rest stop specially for the pilgrims

One of the few places we saw surfies in Japan was along this coast line

A small itinerant temple a little to the north of Muroto

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