The Oshi Town・Kami Yoshida

If you know nothing, You will miss everything.

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If you know nothing, You will miss everything.

There might not be many travelers who need this guide.

I wonder what you think as you gaze around the town of Kamiyoshida? When there isn’t a festival here, there aren’t many people around. It’s not that the place feels deserted, just that people don’t seem to hang around here. This seems like a nameless town, that travelers pass straight through, leaving only the wind of their passage behind them. The result is an enveloping stillness that fills this place.

During the Edo period, however, this town was bustling with people, just like the town surrounding Ise Jingu Shrine, or the shop-lined streets leading up to Asakusa Temple.

In fact, Kamiyoshida used to be a famous inn town. People from all over Japan would use this place as a base camp when climbing the rocky cliffs of Mt. Fuji, and over time it turned into an oshi town that supported the Fuji-kō religion, which worshipped the mountain.

An “oshi town” is a town made up of “oshi homes”, which were owned by shinto priests who supported the Fuji-kō faith by offering their homes as lodging. People who came to climb Mt. Fuji would stay in these inns. In the olden days, there used to be rows upon rows of oshi homes in Kamiyoshida.

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