Hidaka Yabakei Area
Samani Mountain Path and Wasuke Jizo
This small shrine is dedicated to a statue of Wasuke Saito - the Jizo guardian deity of travelers and children. Wasuke contributed to the construction of the Samani Mountain Path.
To facilitate the dispatch of troops for Hokkaido's defense, the Edo Shogunate built the Samani Mountain Path on the Hidaka Yabakei sea cliffs in 1799 as a detour to avoid the difficult passage. Wasuke helped with the construction work as a local resident. A Jizo statue was built after his death in recognition of his popularity and achievements, and is still revered to this day. One of his grandchildren is Daikei Hakodate (1847 - 1907), a popular Meiji-period jockey recognized as the father of equestrianism and horse racing in Japan.
The east entrance to Samani Mountain Path is located near a stream on the other side of a river from this shrine. The route is preserved as an element of Samani's historical heritage, and is also used as a footpath route that covers about 7 km and takes around 4 hours.
Visitors taking the footpath may wish to first pray to Wasuke, who helped build it, for a safe journey. Their prayers are sure to be answered.