Yakuo-in Temple – Hachioji, Japan - Atlas Obscura

Yakuo-in Temple

Hachioji, Japan

This incredible mountainside temple is home to intriguing statues of demon-like creatures. 


One of Japan’s famous landmarks is the majestic Fuji-San (Mount Fuji). Though you cannot see the marvelous mountain from the center of Tokyo, outside the city there’s a beautiful hiking trail that leads to views of the mountain, and also takes you to an amazing mountainside temple.

The Yakuō-in Temple was established in the eighth century, though this current version dates from the 1600s. It was founded by Gyoki Bosatsu, a Buddhist priest linked to the construction of the Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple.

The grounds of the temple are spread out throughout the mountain. While exploring them, you’ll spot various monuments and statues peppering the landscape. The temple also contains statues of tengu, demon-like creatures who dwell on sacred mountains.

If you keep hiking past the temple, you’ll arrive at a resting point. Here, there are a few vendors who sell refreshments and snacks, so you can fuel up while taking in the views. If you are not restricted on time, you should take a different trail back down the mountain, as you will be able to uncover surrounding small villages and temples nearby that might lead to another hidden gem!

Know Before You Go

Taking the JR line, as the station is minutes away from the starting point of the hike. You'll want to go on a weekday, as it can get crowded on weekends.

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