Yoshino_Omine.jpgThe sacred site for Shugendo Yoshino and Omine, which consists of steep mountains reaching altitudes of over 1,000m, is divided into two parts. North of Mt. Aonegamine of the Omine Mountains, which is the water divide of the Kii Mountains, is called "Yoshino" and south of it is called "Omine". Already in the mid-10th century, the status of this region as the most important sacred mountain in Japan had been established to such extent that its reputation reached China. 

Yoshino that had been the object of the mountain worship from ancient times became increasingly active and influential, received attention largely in association with En no Gyoja.

Shugendo, which put importance on mountain ascetic practices, calls walking through the mountains with hard practice "Okugake" or "Mineiri", and Omine is the stage for it. Formidable ridges that are closed off by ice and snow during winter have been revered as objects of worship, and "Omine Okugakemichi" connects many ascetic practicing points and base temples and shrines.

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