Mt. Mitoku is a sacred mountain, standing 899.7m high in eastern Misasa Town, Tohaku-gun. It is located near the border of Shikano-cho, Tottori City. In 1934, it was designated as a Scenic Beauty and Historic Site. In 2014, it achieved its third designation as a national park for its preservation of successively grown unique native forests (from evergreen to broad-leaved deciduous forests) that were sacred sites to nature-worshipping Shugendo Buddhists.
In April 2015, Mt. Mitoku and Misasa Onsen were designated as Tottori Prefecture's first Japan Heritage.
Sanbutsuji, Rinkouin, Shozenin, and Kaijyouin temples are clustered in the north of Mt. Mitoku. Various small and large halls dot the hillside of Mt. Mitoku. Nageiredo Hall was built as an inner sanctuary of Sanbutsuji Temple. The towering large rock to the south is referred to as "Kanmuri Iwa (Crown Rock)" - named after the crown of Zao Gongen, Nageiredo Hall's principal object of worship.
Half way up the trail from Sanbutsu-ji Temple (base of Mt. Mitoku) to Nageiredo Hall, climbers face steep sections where they hold onto tree roots and chains to reach the top. Many worshipers and tourists come and climb this trail.
According to Sanbutsu-ji's temple legend, in 706, Enno Gyoja (founder of Shugendo Buddhism) prayed and threw down three lotus petals. One of the petals drifted here (the others to Mt. Ishizuchi, Iyo, and Yoshino) which determined the establishment of a worship center, temple buildings and ascetic practices for Shugendo Buddhism. To this day, it remains a mystery as to how Mt. Mitoku's inner sanctuary, "Nageiredo Hall", was built. Its name, however, was derived from the legend where Enno Gyoja used magical powers to throw (nagé iré) the hall into the cliff.
The name Sanbutsu-ji (3 buddha temple) originated in 849 when three buddhas (Shaka Nyorai, Amida Nyorai and Dainichi Nyorai) were enshrined by Jikaku Daishi Ennin.