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Hike for Body and Soul

When it comes to winter, I never once thought about doing sports other than skiing or ice skating, until I heard of bus tour held by Association for Promotion of the Dewa Sanzan “Umarekawari no Tabi”, and on of the activity is snow hiking to Haguro Mountain. I have lived in Tsuruoka city for more than a year now, but I have not got the chance to visit the currently-under-renovation Five-story Pagoda in Haguro Mountain. (It will be under renovation until spring 2025.) Since I will return to my home country this year, I felt a bit sad not being able to see the pagoda without any hindrance. Luckily, they remove the scaffoldings during the winter season, so I could enjoy the beautiful Pagoda with thick snow covering its roof.

Actually, I was a bit scared of snow hiking because it looks slippery. Luckily, we got snow poles and snowshoes rental for free. Also, there is something that made me feel super safe. It is a kind of necklace made from paper, which can ward us from unwanted things, and it has a lot of colored ribbons attached to it. The colors represent things in life that we want to focus on during the journey (for example, purple is for academics, red is for love). Wait..What was that? A Journey?

Yeah, this hike is an extraordinary one. Not only that we can enjoy it physically, but also spiritually. Haguro Mountain has a Shinto shrine at the top, and to reach there, we must hike the staircase while reflecting on and manifesting the future of our life. I was busy in the beginning of my year, so I didn’t have the chance to do that until the hike. I am glad that I visited Haguro mountain. My feet are tired, but my heart is full, plus I got a handful of insights about my life and how I want to live this year.  We also finished the hike by eating a set dish made from mountain vegetables and it tasted amazingly delicious. That day I, felt so happy and peaceful, so I think you should try at least once in your life.

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