Takaosan Yakuo Temple is near the summit of Mt. Takao. Founded in the 8th century, over the years it became associated with both Buddhism and Shugendo—a type of mountain asceticism. Explore the grounds and soak up the temple's atmosphere to get a taste of Japan's mystical side.
Keep your ears open for chanting when you visit, as performances of the ancient Goma fire rite occur regularly. If your timing is right, try joining in the temple's waterfall purification rituals. Alternatively, its spectacular fire walking ceremony in March attracts the faithful and travelers alike. You can also try shojin-ryori, traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, by making a reservation in advance.