In a previous post we looked at the Kamo no Chomei Rock on Hinoyama, this time we will focus on another interesting location on the same mountain trail, the Yurei Toge - The Ghost Pass.
The Kamo no Chomei Rock is at the base of the mountain but the Yurei Toge is closer to the peak. In fact on the hiking trail, we reach the top, continue on to a point called the Panaromic Rock (where a great view over Kyoto can be had, pictured below.) and then after a short while heading north the trail begins to descend and we reach the Ghost Pass!
So what is the Ghost Pass? Is it a Shinrei Spot, a haunted location? Some people have said online that they have felt an ominous atmosphere but as far as HIDDEN PATHS can find there are no reports of a haunting and the name derives from some wall structures left over from the second world war that are at this location.
In the picture above, can be seen a number of concrete block walls, some still standing and some that have collapsed or fallen flat down. These structures were military pillboxes during WWII that housed searchlights. The searchlights, when US bombers were flying over Kyoto towards Osaka and Kobe, would be aimed at the plane cockpits to try and dazzle the pilots (or possibly light them up to aim guns at them, we don't know for certain). But where does the name Yurei Pass come from? Well, the name for such a search light is 'Yusentou', and it would seem that over the years or as a play on words that the area has become 'Yurei' from 'Yusentou'.
One of the tracks leading from here and down the mountain, towards Daigo, is signposted as an 'Ox and Cart Track', but its a long and rough old track so we can only assume that soldiers would have been stationed up here on the mountain all of the time, maybe in shifts.
If you do ever come this way and do see a ghost then please do let us know!
If you are interested in a guided hiking walk over Hinoyama and visiting the locations in this blog post then please get in touch for guide rates and reservations.