Nature in the suburbs of Tokyo Mt. Takao. It is a place that you can taste sightseeing in nature while it is close to an hour from the city center. It is also recommended for climbing for the first time, as it is easy for small children to climb together. With the ease of climbing at an altitude of 600 meters and the acquisition of the Michelin three star, it is showing great excitement in recent years as Japan’s foremost leisure spot. Although it is such Mt. Takao, it was a miraculous mountain where many worshipers visit as original places of faith.
Mt. Takao is also known to be popular with Tengu faith (Tengu (long-nosed goblin) and Karasu Tengu (crow-billed goblin)). Tengu has god power and is said to make human wishes and feelings come true with that power. The beginnings of Takao Tengu faith trace back 600 years ago. The statue of the Tengu offered through every corner of Mt. Takao makes us feel its history.
As you climb up the approach path there is a point where you branch to “Otokozaka” (male stairs) and “Onnazaka” (female stairs). The two slopes join again at the climb, but “Onnazaka” is a gentle uphill slope, “Otokozaka” is a steep staircase. The number of stairs in “Otokozaka” is the same as the number of people’s worldly desires, 108 steps. Before worship of Yakuo-in Temple, let’s shake off worldly desires here and climb them one by one.
Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple is a temple located in the middle of Mt. Takao. It is one of the Kanto’s three head temples of the Cisan Branch of Shingon Sect along with Naritasan Shinshoji Temple and Kawasaki Daishi. It is reported that Gyoki bodhisattva opened it in 744 by Emperor Shomu’s imperial order as a prayer temple of east country protection. At that time, since Yakushi Nyorai (Healing Buddha) was placed as the main honor, it is called Yakuoin.
Izunagongen is enshrined in the main hall. The beginning of Tengu faith of Mt. Takao comes from this Izunagongen. Tengu is Zuishin (a person who is a guard for a noble man) of Izunagongen and has been deified since ancient times. Here, there is much divine favor including charm against misfortunes, such as sick healing, better luck, school accomplishment, and fire prevention, etc. This is the center of the sacred spot of Mt. Takao and is a place you’d definitely visit.
|Name:||Takao-san Yakuo-in Temple|
|Address:||Takaomachi 2177 Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0844 Japan|
|Access:||Take the JR Chuo Line to Takao Sta. and change to the Keio Line for Takaosanguchi Sta., or take the Keio Line directly to Takaosanguchi Sta. From there, ride the cable car (Takao Tozan Dentetsu) from Kiyotaki Sta. to Takaosan Sta., or take the lift from Sanroku Sta. to Sanjo Sta. The temple is a 20-minute walk from either the cable car or the lift.