Legend of the Bottomless Swamp
Did you know that Asahikawa has a legend about a bottomless swamp?
We will first go through the legend of the bottomless swamp in Asahikawa.
A long time ago, in a village, there was a bewitched sword that was inherited from generation to generation and it was said that: « Under any circumstances, the sword should not be taken out from its sheath ».
However, one day, the sword began to glow, and disasters felt upon the village.
Disaster after disaster, the inhabitants asked the Gods for advices.
With the advice of a God, people built an altar on a large rock near the bottomless swamp and prayed.
As the Mountain God appeared, people threw the magical sword in the swamp, as a sacrifice to the God.
« We will give you the magic power contained in this sword, so please, we beg you, we want you to stop those disasters! »
After this, the village was free from disasters.
Our reporter thought of this as a mere legend.
But after doing some researches…
The swamp where the sword was thrown into is actually the bottomless swamp!
And it is situated in the outskirts of Asahikawa.
The bottomless swamp and the magical sword are real!
Thus, our reporter decided to investigate on this case.
The bottomless swamp and the sword
At the intersection of Asahikawa's new road and Chuwa, you will see a sign called "Suijinryuo Shrine" on your left as soon as you go toward the mountain.
This is, apparently, where the bottomless swamp and the sword are.
There is a residential area right next to the shrine, but since the shrine is not very popular nobody was there. Our reporter decided to get out of the car and take a walk.
There is a white torii gate and a building with a red roof.
The moment our reporter stepped into the site, he felt like he was standing in a place where he shouldn't be, but since he came here, he couldn't turn back and decided to proceed.
The road is solid and well paved.
The building is also in good condition.
Let’s see what is waiting for us up there.
It was taken through the glass of the latticed door.
By looking on the inside, our reporter felt like he was going to be the target of the God devine punishment. But since he came this far to write this article, he wasn’t going to give up here.
And had a look, from the outside.
Of course, the door is not open.
Because, if opened a curse or a punishment may fall upon him…. Or worse, it may create disasters.
Even by standing outside we can still clearly see the inside.
There is an altar.
And here is the bewitched sword.
Wait what ?
Wasn’t the bewitched sword supposed to have been thrown in the bottomless swamp ?
Apparently, our reporter wasn’t sure when, but the sword was discovered from the bottom of the swamp and was worshipped as a divine object.
There is also something like a mysterious monument behind the Buddhist altar.
Let’s go down the stair and explore the back of the shrine!
There is a stone monument engraved: « The Bottomless Swamp Ruins ».
The bottomless swamp WAS indeed here.
Obviously, having a such dangerous swamp around here was dangerous so it must have been filled up with soil.
The fact that a bottomless swamp actually existed is surprising!
Some parts of the swamp was kept away as it is in the concrete cylinder behind the stone monument.
Our reporter wanted to take a peek, but couldn't.
If you go deeper in the mountain, you will see an amazing sight!
Can you see that ?
Jizo statues are displayed all over the mountain.
Dozens of Jizo statues were exposed on the slope.
It was like a holy place, a different world.
Our writer travelled alone and got scared because he felt like he was in a place where he shouldn’t go further …
The stone monument says:
« Tateiwa Shikoku Hachijuhakkasho Reijou » (« Tateiwa Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage Sites »).
It seems to be a place of pilgrimage.
The Inari Shrine next to it seems to be unmaintained and has decayed.
You may see this as a good thing or a bad thing, but it has a good atmosphere. A scary one though.
A stone with a mysterious hole is near the Inari Shrine.
Whether if it's made naturally or artificially nobody around here knows!
But the most surprising thing is still waiting in the depth of this sacred place.
There is a large rock with a slight tint of red.
The rock seems to be used for climbing since a rope is hanging from the top.
There is a cavity in the lower part of the rock, and they are here too...
The Jizou !
They may be here to bring luck and safety to the climbers.
In front of the rock, stones are placed to form to circle.
Was this place used for pilgrimage too ?
When you return to the entrance, immediately to the right, you will see the Tateiwa, two tall rocks where the legendary altar is said to have been built on.
Two large standing rocks like pillars.
Fences are built around it. Our writer wondered if the rocks are unstable.
He also wondered if it was made naturally.
It is a very impressive rock with a characteristic shape.
The Bottomless Swamp’s map
Adress: Hokkaidō, Asahikawa-shi, Kamuichō, Chūwa 223 - 1
It's hard to find anyone who knows that there was a bottomless swamp in Asahikawa.
Moreover, it is a legend.
Our reporter is refraining himself from going out.
But here, he was able to drive to the rocks, deep inside the holy ground without having to get out of the car.
If this legendary spot interested you, feel free to come !
Translated from ryo's article.