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Zuzuya: Ink Talismans at a Fuji Pilgrim's Inn

| Mount Fuji , Yamanashi
Zuzuya: Ink Talismans at a Fuji Pilgrim's Inn

The Kamiyoshida area of what's now Fujiyoshida City has historically been a prime starting point for climbing Mount Fuji. At the height of Fuji worship in the Edo Period (1603-1868), low-level priests called oshi (御師) administered inns called oshi houses (御師の家・oshi no ie), where pilgrims would stay before making the ascent.

Zuzuya

Zuzuya

Located at the end of a long tatsumichi path, Zuzuya (筒屋) is one of only two oshi houses in Kamiyoshida still providing lodgings for pilgrims. With a history of some 400 years, the interior is decorated with images of Konohana Sakuya-hime, the goddess of Mount Fuji, and Hasegawa Kakugyo, founder of the Fujiko (富士講) sect of Fuji worship, attended by monkeys—since it's believed the holy mountain was formed in the year of the monkey.

There's a shrine dedicated to Mount Fuji at the back, and you can make ink printings from real Edo Period wood blocks. Featuring motifs of monkeys and Buddhist deities, these were printed on the backs of the white gyoi uniforms worn by Fuji pilgrims as talismans for safety and protection.

Zuzuya
Address: 6-7-3 Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi