To No Hetsuri

 

To No Hetsuri literally means cliffs shaped like towers.
The popular sightseeing spot near Shimogo in Fukushima prefecture is a naturally created valley, where the erosion from wind, rain and water have shaped the rocks along the Ōkawa river.
The rocks or “towers” have been assigned names like Eagle Tower, Hawk Tower, Lion Tower, House Tower, Turret Tower, Nine-ring Tower, Elephant Tower, Goma (fire ritual) Tower, Eboshi Rock, Folding Screen Rock, Stage Rock, and Sumo Arena Rock…

These cliffs were declared a national monument in 1943.

Entry is free, and you can take photos from above, where there is a platform extending over the river, or walk down and cross the river by a small suspension bridge (quite bouncy !).

On the other side there are some steep stairs leading to a small shrine, inside a cave, all I can find about it is that it worships  Akasagarbha-bodhisattva and was made more than 1,200 years ago.  (No verification, just one mention in a TV-Tokyo site)

There is a very small train station nearby with a giant Kokeshi doll on the platform.  The trains run on the Aizu railway line, it would be easy to visit via train as the walk is not far.
One of the shops had a workshop for making wooden items, so I will have to go back when it’s open.  I was pretty early as I wanted to get photos without people, downside was the shops were all shut still.

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