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Engyoji Temple

History buffs will delight in the 1000-year-old Engyoji Temple complex, which is so stunning that it is often used as a location in period films.

Engyoji Temple is on the edge of Himeji City and is an atmospheric temple complex with a history dating back over 1000 years. The buildings within the temple complex are spread around a spacious forested area on a mountain top. It can be accessed by bus or ropeway (a kind of cable car) and is around a 10 to 15 minute walk from the cable car station to reach the Niomon Gate and a further walk to reach the beautiful wooden temple hall, Maniden. The temple complex is home to some amazing views over the urban stretch of Himeji.

Due to the beauty of the area, Mount Shosha is frequently used as a filming location for historical movies and TV dramas as there is a lack of modern infrastructure within the grounds. Although it’s mostly domestic productions that are shot here, one notable Hollywood movie that has some scenes filmed here was The Last Samurai. It is also the 27th temple out of 33 on the sacred Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage attracting many visitors for that alone. The temple itself is an ancient-looking grand wooden structure with two stories and the classic curved roof.

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