Since ancient times Akame 48 Falls has been a training location for many mountain ascetics (Shugendo worshippers) and ninja. The steep terrain that rises and falls and has many waterfalls was perfect as a training ground. Shugendo is a religion that combines an ancient form of Japanese mountain worship with Shinto as well as imported religions such as Buddhism and Taoism. En no Gyoja, a shaman who is said to be the founder of Shugendo, was active in Nara in the 7th and 8th centuries and legends of him travelling through the skies, hills and fields using mysterious powers and manipulating fierce gods at will remain today. Akame 48 falls has a legend about En no Gyoja. It is said that when he was reciting his sutras to a waterfall the Acala appeared on a red-eyed bull, and the name Akame (red eyes in Japanese) of Akame 48 Falls comes from this legend. It is thought that one of the roots of ninja is Shugendo and tt is said that Sandayu Momochi, the founder of the lga ninja who was born near Akame Valley, used the Akame 48 Falls as a training ground and turned out a great number of ninja. The 48 of Akame 48 Falls signifies a large number and many of the waterfalls are named after different gods of Buddhism such as Fudo, Senju and Dainichi. It is said that they were named with the landscape of Akame serving as the great mandala scroll and tt is thought that various prayers are answered by going round all of the waterfalls. The valley zigzags over 4km surrounded by virgin forest on the mountain slopes and visitors can currently enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors and its four seasons created by the various waterfalls in a mysterious atmosphere on the trails provided. Eco tours in which participants stand under the waterfalls or experience ninja training are popular.