For the thousandth time, I’ve been asked is Yatsuyama, rising to a mighty 108 meters above sea level, really a mountain—if a person can say, without being deceptive, that after climbing to the top she has indeed been mountain climbing.
Yes, that eternal question: Is it a mountain?
Well, I cannot possibly put forth all the evidence in a single blog post, so I will just make a few points—and encourage you to check out the alleged “summit” for yourself and make your own judgement.
Point 1: Would there be guides along the way, encouraging you, saying, “You can do it, you can make it to the MOUNTAIN TOP, keep going!”—if it weren’t a mountain?
Point 2: Would it be called YatsuYAMA if it weren’t a mountain?
Point 3: Would there be both a shrine at the foot and a shrine at the top, both the homes of mountain spirits if it weren’t a mountain?
Point 4: Would you feel as light as you do were it not a mountain?
Point 5: Only 108 meters, you say. What on earth does that have to do with it, I reply. Why, I once saw a cicada nymph that had just clawed its way out from the ground, its head stood above the ground no more than a millimeter or two—and let me to you exactly what its expression said: MAN, THAT WAS A HELL OF A MOUNTAIN.
Point 6: On Yatsuyama, as with other mountains, you soon discover that your eyes have become your ears—and that you are taking tremendous joy in listening—only in listening.
All right, enough of this nonsense, up we go, up from Gokoku Shrine, up the side of the MOUNTAIN, along the ridge, to the SUMMIT, down to the Kiyomizu Temple.