Located on the west side of Mount Nokogiri, this temple was founded over 1300 years ago and is still active today. You could spend a whole afternoon exploring the various pathways which run through and around the grounds, especially if you couple this with a visit to the mountain’s impressive peak. From there, you can follow a trail down to the temple itself.
Along the way, you’ll get a chance to see some truly monumental statues; the giant Buddha of Nihonji, carved in 1783, is one of the country’s largest. A more recent addition to the temple is the 30 meter tall Kannon effigy carved into a cliff wall. It represents the Bodhisattva of mercy, carved for those who lost their lives in WWII.
Alongside these giant stone deities, you’ll also find hundreds of smaller statues adorning the grounds. No matter what you want to pray for — luck, love, money, or something else entirely — you’ll find the patron Buddhist spirit to fit!
Sign up to receive insider tips about the food scene in Japan's most extraordinary areas.