runAway: Exploring the Mystical Mt. Mitoku

Aired: Feb. 27, 2020

The runAway team head for Mount Mitoku. It’s located just outside the small town of Misasa in Tottori Prefecture and despite being only 900m tall, it draws visitors from far and wide. Dean and the team are attempting to hike and climb their way to the top of a spiritual route that passes through numerous religious sites and finishes spectacularly at the National Treasure known as Nageiredo Hall. They will do so wearing traditional woven straw footwear known as Zori. This is a route that is physically challenging, shrouded in mystery, and utterly fascinating.

Looking over from the Monjudo Hall on Mt. Mitoku
Nageiredo Hall
Ringing the bell to let the gods know of your arrival
The runAway team reaching the uppermost part of the trail for a view of the Nageiredo Hall
Woven straw footwear called Zori

Viewers’ Voice

Footage of the hike was excellent with a great balance between following and leading shots adding to the sense of movement and drama at key points in the climb. The view from the first “hanging” temple was truly breathtaking and for me, the shot of the program. I loved the way we encountered the final temple, Nageiredo Hall, with Dean. The music here, and the quiet conversation between Dean and one of his travelling companions, made the experience feel intimate and very special—as if we were the first people to discover this amazing structure. Dean’s closing thoughts were, as always, interesting and relevant and I really liked his explanation of “Souzo-Sei,” meaning imagination.

From the Netherlands

I enjoyed seeing another temple site. This one had features that I had never seen before, such as the beaded-rope used for cleansing. I like that some of the temples were high up the mountain and required a lengthy climb. I like the idea of having to do physical work to reach a spiritual place. It shows that you are willing to work and sacrifice for a reward. I also like the custom-made sandals that Dean wore in order to climb the mountain. I would love to try those shoes! I was surprised to hear that some people think that those sandals are more comfortable than hiking shoes.

From the US

I enjoyed that during this segment while they were visiting a temple, there was some background music but there were also the sounds of the temple. You could hear water and the environment around it, giving me as a viewer more of an immersion into what they are experiencing. Mount Mitoku in Tottori Prefecture was absolutely stunning! I was not familiar with the area, but seeing that temple literally hanging out of a cave on the edge of the mountain was breathtaking. It was gorgeous to see something so peaceful and serene nestled so perfectly with nature - though the climb looks intimidating.

From Canada

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