At the base of sacred Mt. Mitoku in Tottori, Misasa Onsen is known for its radon hot springs, which you can enjoy at one of the many ryokans or, if you’re brave, at the open-air mixed bath near the center of town. Legend has it that in the Heian period (794 to 1185), a samurai on a pilgrimage to Mt. Mitoku came across a white wolf, which he believed was a god, and spared its life. The samurai then had a dream about the site of a hot spring located under a camphor tree. You can see the tree and the hot spring to this day. The waters of Misasa Onsen are said to cure any disease and heal the senses. Pilgrims and travelers bathe in the hot springs to purify themselves before continuing up Mt. Mitoku.
High up on the mountain is the mysterious Nagareido Hall, a small temple perched on wooden stilts on the rock face, known as Japan’s “most dangerous” National Treasure. Adventurous souls can hike up the precarious mountain paths, grasping at tree branches and scrambling along the rocks. The act of climbing here is part of "Shugendo", an ascetic spiritual practice. Upon reaching the top, you are rewarded with spectacular views over the valley below.