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Hodosan Shrine

At the foot of Mount Hodo lies Hodosan, a shrine built to safeguard against natural disasters.

By Abhijit Sen

Nestled at the base of Mount Hodo lies a stunning shrine that boasts the Gongen-zukuri architectural style. Hodosan is one of the three primary Shinto shrines in the district and is located in Nagatoro, which is approximately ten kilometers away from Chichibu. It is also one of the oldest shrines in Saitama, with a rich history that dates back almost 2,000 years.

The Tale of a Hero and a Divine Pack of Dogs

Hodosan Shrine

Photo by: PIXTA/ ムタシャン One of the oldest shrines in the prefecture.

According to ancient Japanese legend, the shrine was built by the legendary hero Yamato Takeru no Mikoto. During his war expedition, he found himself surrounded by the enemy’s fire. In a moment of desperation, a few dogs appeared and saved him from the flames. Yamato Takeru no Mikoto was grateful to the dogs, and he believed they were messengers of the gods.

In honor of the dogs’ bravery and divine intervention, Yamato decided to build the shrine. The shrine was constructed as a symbol of protection against natural disasters.

Stunning Architecture

Hodosan Shrine

Photo by: Abhijit Sen Take in all the intricate details that adorn the shrine.

The current shrine building was constructed during the early Meiji Period. These buildings are important not only for their historical value but also for the intricate and vibrant carvings that adorn their walls. The skilled artisans who created these carvings left behind a legacy of craftsmanship that is truly impressive.

Exploring the shrine buildings and their carvings can be a rewarding experience for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture.

Hodosan is enveloped by a dense forest, providing an excellent opportunity to experience nature in its purest form. The area boasts distinct seasonal variations, each with its own exceptional charm, be it the blooming of spring, the vibrant hues of autumn, or the warmth of summer.

A Ropeway Ride to the Summit

Hodosan Ropeway

Photo by: Abhijit Sen Head to the top and take in the views.

The Hodosan ropeway is located a brief distance from the shrine, and this cable car takes you to the summit in no time. Once there, immerse yourself in the stunning views of the surrounding region while exploring the scenic walking trails. The panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys are truly breathtaking and provide a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the area.

The shrine is a symbol of the area’s cultural heritage and natural beauty, providing a peaceful retreat for visitors. Its impressive design, tranquil atmosphere, and intriguing history make it a must-visit location for those who are interested.

Things To Know


The shrine is free to enter and is open from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. from April to September and 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. from October to March.

Hodosan ropeway is open from 9:40 a.m. – 5 p.m. However, seasonal operation differs slightly from regular operation.

It costs adults ¥700 for a one-way trip and ¥1, 200 roundtrip. For children, it costs ¥350 one-way and ¥600 roundtrip.

How To Get There


By train

To get to Nagatoro, take the Takasaki Line from Ueno to Kumagaya, then transfer to the Chichibu Line. Alternatively, take the Seibu Line from Ikebukuro to Seibu Chichibu and walk to Ohanabatake station, or take the Tobu Tojo Line from Ikebukuro to Yorii. All journeys take about 110-120 minutes.

By car

From Nerima IC to Hanazono IC, take the Kanetsu Expressway towards Chichibu. Then, take National Route 140 and turn right at Nagatoro Ekimae Junction. 

From Uenomachi Junction, take National Route 299 towards Nagatoro and turn left at Nagatoro Ekimae Junction.

Where To Stay

Hotel Miyama
  • 1294-1 Yamada, Chichibu-shi, Saitama, 368-0004 Japan
  • ¥8,047 - ¥26,334
  • 4.34/5 (1,166 reviews)
  • 8.8 km

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