This is one of the two most beautiful spots in Chichibu, Taiyoji temple in the middle of the mountains of Otaki. A little remote and so peaceful, and the priest so friendly, and his dog so naughty, or playful you could say. Watch out if you take your shoes off, the dog might run off with one and throw it over the cliff! People can come and stay overnight and he teaches meditation in the meditation hall, with its fabulous views of the mountains. He even made an outdoor rock bath for guests.
Apparently in Japan, if a child is naughty, their mother says that Enma-sama (scary God) will come and get them. One friend even showed me an app on their iPad where they could dial up Enma-sama in front of the child and tell him what the child had done, and Enma-sama would answer! I thought that was a bit over-doing it. Way too scary.
It seems there has been a temple here since 1313, and it was at one time especially for women, who were banned from setting foot on some of the other sacred mountains and temples. It is amazing to imagine people walking all the way up here centuries ago, in such a mountainous and forested area. It is only a stone’s throw on to Mitsumine Shrine at the top of the mountain, another great spot, but the narrow mountain road is totally overcrowded on some weekends and the first of every month when people go to buy some special charms, as it is being marketed as a “power spot”.
A real power spot.