Is it possible to get tired of fall colors? I think not! Goshuin number 38 is from 小菅神社 (Kosuge Shrine), a shrine I discovered while driving back from Kiyotsu Gorge. The reviews I read said it was a small climb to get up to the shrine, but I must disagree. It took me about an hour and a half hike! Was not fully expecting that!
There is a small, free parking lot up near the entrance to the shrine, and you can also park at the top of the hill. However, there isn’t much space up there, and it’s mostly used as overflow parking for a nearby restaurant.
I LOVE the hike to this shrine. It reminds me of Togakushi because of the giant trees, but it was completely and blessedly silent. I had to sit down at one point just to soak it all in, and I’m now a believer in “forest bathing.”
Along the paths are small sign paths pointing out interesting things about the area. There is also a small shrine at the bottom of a rock wall I thought was cool.
Near the top, the path forks. Both ways end at the shrine, but how you get there is very different. The left way is much like the rest of the path; a hiking trail. The right way leads up a kind of rock wall. To help you up are chains attached to the rock. I went that way haha.
The view from the top is beautiful! The shrine looks out over Iiyama. It was closed up when I got there so I couldn’t actually see the altar or anything, but it was still beautiful. Unfortunately though, there were signs asking visitors to please not graffiti the building. There were lots of scribbles on the doors.
On my way down, I ran into a mother and son and ended up walking the rest of the way down with them! We saw a friendly orange cat, then went to a random house (?) where we got the stamp for the Upper Shrine! Apparently there is a lower shrine as well, but I didn’t go to that one. I’ll have to go next time!
Date acquired: October 28, 2018