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Long nose goblins with wings await you at mountain top temple!
People in the Tokyo area need no introduction to Yakuoin temple at the top of Mt Takao. It is one of the most loved and revered temples in Tokyo's Hachioji suburbs. Steeped in history with a fair dollop of superstition, millions of Japanese and foreigners alike make pilgrimage to Yakuoin annually. The trek to the temple is not an easy one, but it is well worth the journey. To make the journey easier there is a cable car and chair lifts that go part of the way, if you don't fancy hiking up to 500 metres above sea level! You still need to walk from the station and take quite a few steep steps up to the temple once you get into the temple grounds. The temple grounds have some very famous statues of "tengu" or long nosed goblins. They also have statues of beaked tengu. There are a number of other features on the ground, too many to list, but one of my favourites (apart from the stunning temple itself) is the "geta" shrine. The temple is intricately detailed with wooden carvings of dragons and animals. Entry into the temple grounds is free. Cable car and chair lifts are charged. Hiking trails are free.