Oyama, a sacred mountain of gods and Buddha, is located in the west of the Sagami plain and has been a place people have come to worship for many years.
In the Edo period, the Oyama-ko (organized worship visit to Oyama) was led by the priest, Oyama-oshi (after the Meiji period, called Sendoshi). Oyama-ko was developed when people from many areas, (Kanagawa, Tokyo, Saitama, Shizuoka, Yamanashi, Nagano, Niigata and Chiba) frequently visited. They prayed for many things, including rich harvest, domestic safety and business prosperity, etc. As a result of the many worshipers’ visits, various places on the way to Oyama sprang up. The main roads are now called Oyama-do or Oyama-kaido. Around the foot of the mountain are lodges for worshipers and souvenir shops managed by priests (Oshi) which were built when the temple town (monzenmachi) was formed.
Different from an Ise-worship visit, an Oyama-worship visit has a very short itinerary without a welcoming event called Sakamukae (welcome home). As a result, an Oyama-worship visit became very popular. Particularly during the summer time, according to an old calendar from June 27 until July 17, many people visited Oyama. It was said that the number of worship visitors reached several hundred thousand during the prosperous years of Oyama, 1751 through 1764.