After learning about the close relationship between Mt. Takao and its guardian deity, Izuna-gongen, at Hachioji Museum I was excited to return to Mt. Takao and further explore its religious aspects. We took the bus to the foot of Mt. Takao and hopped onto the cable car which took us straight to the top of the mountain.



From there, two friendly monks guided us to Yakuo-in temple and explained the mountain’s history as well as the significance of some religious sites we passed along the way. It was an unusually hot day with temperatures reaching upwards of 36 ºC but thanks to the shade cast by Mt. Takao’s massive cedar trees and the monks’ storytelling, what could have been a long and exhausting walk to Yakuo-in temple turned into a pleasant stroll.



Once at the temple, we participated in a service and prayed to Izuna-gongen. We were told that these kinds of services had attracted huge crowds in the past and indeed it turned out to be quite a spectacle with one monk blowing into an exotic conch and another playing Japanese drums.

After the service we were given talismans and lead to the temple’s dining hall where we had lunch and could rest for a while before we returned home