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I was at a dead end. In front of me was a wild mountain landscape of towering trees, rugged rocks and dense vegetation.

I had been trying to find a statue of a legendary sennin, an immortal mountain ascetic who is reputed to have called this area home long ago, but I could not locate the path that would lead me there. After several unsuccessful attempts, I called the local tourist board only to have an official suggest that I get off the mountain, since it could be dangerous.

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