Temples Of Japan

Temples of Japan - Travel Tips (Part 2)

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An Abandoned Guest Gouse at Naritasan Temple Precincts

Travel tips in Japan in this page, continued from the previous page.

2) Nature and Surroundings:
Many of the temples and shrines are usually are situated on top of mountains and inside wooded areas.  Sometimes when you trek into these places, you may have to go through narrow wooden or rock stairs.  Naturally you may be thinking what kind of animals and creatures live in these places?  Well, I can tell you that most of the wooded areas and mountains are safe to trek.  For some reason these areas are not fraught with dangerous animals like bears, lions/tigers or even snakes.

The only one places I have come across a warning sign post about the existence of snakes, was in the northern mountain range in Kyoto, on my way to a temple called Kurama dera.  Luckily most of these creatures are shy and do not bother humans.

Above is a sign that is saying that this year there are many snakes in the mountains.  This snake is called "Mamushi", similar to a rattle snake found in United States.  Kyoto city has mountains on all four sides but it seems snakes are only found on the northern mountain range.  Interesting!

But during your treks, you will definitely come across lot of small creatures like various types of spiders, spiny crawlers, centipedes, crickets etc.  But these kinds of creatures are expected to found in the wooded areas anyway.  Some locations may have monkeys but usually they do not bother animals.  Where applicable, you will find adequate sign posts warning you of these animals.

In short, you probably see more bears trekking in yellow stone park than in Japan.  Last time I was in Tochigi prefecture on my way to a temple on a mountain, I asked the local Japanese about any dangerous animals on the mountains.  He said that there are some wild boars in the woods but they are harmless to the humans.

My advise to trekkers is to look for any sign posts regarding the existence of any animals and generally not disturb their existence in the nature.  If you feel too lonely, make sure that there are other trekkers in the vicinity to make you feel comfortable.

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