Fudo Waterfall

Saitama waterfall used for ascetic discipline

Driving along the Sai-Kai Highway in Saitama will take you past the trail entrance for Fudotaki, a Saitama waterfall used for practicing ascetic discipline. The waterfall trail is steep and a bit rough. It leads over a suspension bridge crossing the Arakawa River, down into a valley and up the other side, where a small shrine stands at the top of some stone steps. Just past the shrine, a track leads down to the waterfall. We arrived just in time to see a disciple secured by a safety rope make her way under the flow of water, where she remained for a surprisingly long time, crying out in a loud voice. My Japanese friend said the purpose of the ceremony is to "strengthen the heart".

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