Jizo and Hiking Mount Misen

One of the most ubiquitous features of any Japanese shrine is the round-headed stone statue clothed in a knit red bib, hat, and soft smile.

They are the guardians of travelers, saviors of unborn children, and all around good guy spirits.

And they are everywhere: from shrines to cemeteries to hiking paths high on a mountaintop.

They are jizo.

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