Mount Osore (恐山)

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Mount Osore is a small volcano in the middle of the Shimokita Peninsula, just west of Mutsu City. It is home to a Buddhist temple named Bodai-Ji, whose patron deity is Jizo, as well as a small lake: Lake Usori. Flowing into the lake is a small brook, which in Japanese mythology is analogous with the Sanzu River, which spirits must cross after death.

Osore-zan—the Japanese name of the peak—means “Mount Fear.” The mountain, with its barren landscapes of crushed rock and sickly-colored sulfur pools and fumaroles, is believed to be the entrance to Hell. Intermittent volcanic activity and earthquakes add to the dreadful atmosphere around the mountain that looms over Mutsu.

Mount Osore (恐山)

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