Mt. Osore, or “Fear Mountain”, located in the Shimokita Peninsula, Aomori Prefecture, is one of the three most sacred mountains in Japan and is included in the Shimokita Peninsula Semi-national Park. It is said that Jikakutaishi of Tendai Buddhism established the site as a place of worship in year 862.
This area has a strong smell of sulfur coming from volcanic rocks. The volcanic rocks are called “Hell”, and form stark contrast with the scene around Usori Lake, which is called “Paradise Beach”. Though Mount Osore is known as a sacred place where Itako, or spiritual mediums, call up spirits of the dead, communicate with them, and deliver messages, these mediums are not permanently stationed in Mount Osore. They perform their tasks in Mount Osore only when two Itako festivals are held in the region. There are four hot springs with different effects in the area, and visitors can enjoy them freely.