Takaosan Yakuoin Temple 高尾山薬王院
A mountaintop temple providing respite for weary travelers and clarity for spiritual seekers
Takaosan Yakuoin Temple was built in 744 and later restored in the 14th century. It is known for both the Buddhist practice of shugendo or mountain asceticism, as well as its devotion to tengu, a mythical figure in Shinto belief believed to be messengers of the gods.
Yakuoin welcomes guests interested in shugendo, and offers guidance to first-timers
You can also try shojin ryori—Buddhist vegetarian cuisine upon reservation
There's a sign near the entrance of the temple that says "sessho kindan" or "no killing"
How to Get There
Takaosan Yakuoin Temple is located near the summit of Mt. Takao . It's a 20-minute walk from either the cable car or the lift.
To get to Mt. Takao , ride the Keio Line semi-limited express train from Shinjuku Station and get off at Takaosanguchi Station.
With Mt. Takao as its backdrop, Yakuoin is loved for its stunning architecture and brilliant kaleidoscope of colors.
Anyone can practice shugendo or mountain asceticism
Different forms of asceticism are practiced at Yakuo-in, and you don't have to be a monk to participate. Guests can join firewalking as well as meditation sessions under a waterfall, known as takigyo. Typically, those pursuing asceticism wish to gain clarity of mind and focus on their goals.