Climb out-of-the-way mountain trails on a guided hike from Echigo-Yuzawa Station, as you seek out some of the 100 long-lost sacred statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, recently rediscovered in the tranquil wilderness.
On this hike up the slopes of the Echigo-Yuzawa area in Niigata Prefecture, not only can you reconnect with nature and enjoy fantastic views from on high, you can also seek out 34 of the newly restored “100 Kannon” sacred statues scattered across the mountainside! In the mountains above this ski and hot-spring resort, a rare collection of cultural treasures await: 100 statues of the Buddhist deity Kannon, the goddess of mercy. These statues were installed on the mountain many years ago, through the combined effort of hundreds of locals, in order to spread the faith. Until recently though, these 100 Kannon were lost to mother nature. Uncovered in recent years, they now form the focus of a unique cultural nature walk perfect for Echigo-Yuzawa’s beautiful “green season.” To see all 100 Kannon statues would take around 6 hours, so this hike follows the Banto Course to take in 34 of them in a more accessible 2.5-hour tour. As you enjoy this guided hike, conveniently starting and ending at Echigo-Yuzawa Station, you can learn the stories and cultural background of the statues. Climbing a few steep sections of trail, you’ll wonder at the effort required to carry 100 statues to their places. This secret too awaits intrepid hikers at Echigo-Yuzawa!