On Oshima Island, one of Tokyo’s Izu islands, a mountain called Mt. Mihara sits at the center of the island.
Mother nature creates unique features on every mountain, and this one too has distinct features to others.
Whether or not you make it to the top is down to weather and luck. Knowing that, will you dare set off to Mt. Mihara?
We climbed Mt. Mihara, known also to be a “power spot” (supercharged sites with the ability to energize you). Together, we made for ‘ura-sunahama’, supposedly Japan’s only desert, the mountain peak as well as the crater.
Mt. Mihara: A Historic Volcano
Island weather tends to be erratic, and the same can be said of weather on mountains.
Oshima island, created as a result of volcanic eruption, has uncertain weather today too.
The forecast for the morning was sunny, with rain later in the day. Our only chance of climbing Mt. Mihara was in the morning. My adventurous spirit was ready to take on a challenge.
We promptly headed for the peak.
We drove to Oshima Onsen Hotel, and started our trek from the trail that begins next to the hotel. The sunlight beams on the bright green trees.
As we walk on, the height of the trees gradually get shorter, and the charcoal earth begins to reveal itself. You could tell from the rugged charcoal-colored rocks covering the entire surface of the ground that lava flowed on this very path back in the 1986 eruption.
Mihara Shrine: The Miracle Shrine That Escaped Lava Flow
As we climb higher and higher, the air began to get thinner, and thick clouds started wrapping around the mountain. Undeterred, we continue our trek.
We arrive at Mihara Shrine. At the time of the 1986 eruption, the lava flow avoided these sacred grounds, leaving Mihara Shrine unharmed. As such, this shrine is also known to some as the miracle shrine. We pray for the success and safety of our journey, and move on.
‘Ura-sunahama’, Japan’s Only Desert And Crater Hole
Further ahead of the trail is ura-sunahama, literally hidden desert. This is the only place nationwide marked officially as a desert on the official map of Japan published by the Geographical Survey Institute. Apart from a few patches of short grass, the entire surface is covered in black sand. The mysteriousness of the place makes it hard to believe that this is still technically a part of Tokyo prefecture, and you almost feel as though you are on a different planet.
Some say it’s like landing on the moon, and really, the view doesn’t feel so far from that.
Stargazing from this spot is as good as going to a planetarium. There are several organized tours offering this.
There are some parts of it are traversable by car or by bike, which sure sounds like something you should try out.
The crater, one of the main spots on Mt. Mihara, is best witnessed with your own eyes. The crater appears like a large bowl, standing quietly but imposingly in front of you. There are no words to describe the sheer size of the mountain, the utter strength of volcanoes, and the mysteries of mother nature.
Experiencing The Power Of Mother Nature At Mt. Mihara
The island lives, and so does the mountain. Mt. Mihara lets you experience both.
Nature decides whether or not you will make it to the top of the mountain as it’s dependent on the weather. All the while Mt. Mihara continues to breathe.
With its reserve of Mother Nature’s immense power, Mt. Mihara is sure to be a source of great energy to you.