Mt. Osorezan means ‘Fear Mountain‘ and is considered the Entrance/Gateway to Hell, or where the dead pause on the way to the underworld, something that I was not aware of at the time of our visit. It is located in the Shimokita peninsula and is about 2 hours from Misawa. It is a volcano which cause the area to smell like sulfur and there are areas where steam comes out of the water. The pamphlet said there were boiling mud pits and we were excited to see them because we had seen some in Iceland. Unfortunately they appeared to be all dried up. The sulfur smell did remind us of Iceland though. This is once again a place where the Japanese come to worship and make offerings to dead children, and it was once again a place I found a bit creepy. There is a small river there, the Sanzu River, which is what the Japanese consider the equivalent of the river Styx and the dead must cross the bridge to escape. There is also a nice looking lake with a nice beach but that is fouled by streaks of sulfur and the sulfuric acidity of the water. Now that we’ve been there and seen it, it’s not a place that I’d want to return and visit.
See the steam coming out of the rocks?