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Kiryu River Headwaters Forest

Walk to Ishigamo Tenmangu Shrine in a Headwater Forest Colored by the Seasons

Nature

With a peak of 1,199 meters, Mount Nemoto is known as one of the 100 prominent mountains in Gunma Prefecture. The beautiful waters that flow down this mountain along the Kiryu River have created magnificent natural scenery. The forest belt along the river is called the Kiryu River Headwaters Forest. Its attraction lies in its splendid scenery, which has been chosen as one of Japan’s top 100 “forest bathing” woods and marsh forests. From summer greenery to autumn leaves, heal your heart and soul with the colorful landscapes of each season.

In this area, the recommended activity is trekking. Those with confidence in their legs can aim for Ishigamo Tenmangu Shrine, a stretch of about 7 km upstream from Lake Umeda. Walking along Prefectural Highway 337, it will take about 1.5 hours. While stopping to look at ancestors worshipped as deities along the way, you’ll enter deep into the mountains. At the end of this narrow road, where you are unlikely to meet traffic, you will arrive at Ishigamo Tenmangu.

Dedicated to the guardian deity of Fujiu Kii-no-Kami, there is a folk song about this shrine. When heavy rain caused the Kiryu River to flood, the former main building of this shrine was washed away. After searching for it, the villagers found it in this spot, and that is why this deity is worshipped here.
After going through the Torii gate and climbing its steep stone steps, encounter an extremely mystical atmosphere in its time-honored main building and stone shrine. Regarding the honorable offerings made by worshippers, you can see that even now, this shrine plays an important role in the lives of local residents.

When visiting the town and shrine that has long coexisted with nature, we hope you can enjoy the colors of each season.

Highlights

  • For forest bathing and marsh forests, the landscape is among the top 100 in Japan.
  • The colors of each season are reflected in its splendid natural scenery.
  • Trekking is also a recommended activity here.
  • A highlight is Ishigamo Tenmagu shrine, about 7 km upstream from Lake Umeda.
  • The ema tablets and chopsticks made with sacred wood are recommended items.

Photos

  • Abundant nature overflowing with minus ions

    Abundant nature overflowing with minus ions

  • The fresh, clear waters will cleanse your mind

    The fresh, clear waters will cleanse your mind

  • You’ll want to enjoy taking a stroll in nature

    You’ll want to enjoy taking a stroll in nature

  • The scenery you’ll want to photograph, without thinking about it

    The scenery you’ll want to photograph, without thinking about it

  • The legends of many folk songs remain at Ishigamo Tenmangu Shrine

    The legends of many folk songs remain at Ishigamo Tenmangu Shrine

  • Why not write your wish on an ema tablet made of sacred wood?

    Why not write your wish on an ema tablet made of sacred wood?

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Details

Name in Japanese
桐生川源流林
Postal Code
376-0601
Address
Inside Umeda-Cho 5 Chome, Kiryu City, Gunma
Telephone
0277-46-1111 (Kiryu City Hall)
Admission
Free of charge
Closed
Never
Hours
Open All Day
Access
From the north exit of Kiryu Station on the JR Ryomo Line, transfer to the Orihime bus on the Umeda Line and get off at the Outdoor Activity Center Entrance, then walk about 3 minutes
Official Website
Official Website (English)