The wonderfully natural location of Akiruno City is on full display through the temples and shrines of this Tama region city. Scores of them can be found throughout the area, are often connected with walking trails and feature both architectural beauty and simple local piety. Here is an introduction to some of the temples and shrines of Akiruno and how to reach them.

Amemushu Shrine

It only takes 237 steps to reach the top but for those taking up the challenge, they'll find Amemushu Shrine waiting. It's unknown exactly when it was built though sometime in the late 16th century is the common belief. Evocatively isolated, the current main structure stems from the Edo period and its wood carved reliefs are simply beautiful.

An 8-minute drive from HIgashi-Akiru Station on the JR Itsukaichi Line.

Iwahashi Shrine

Related to the famous Togakushi Shrine in modern Nagano Prefecture, Iwahashi Shrine invites with a huge stone torii gate off the main road. Inside the sparse grounds sits a shrine building that appears as if it were a remnant of some bygone age. Wooden, rustic and real, the shrine comes alive during the annual mikoshi portable shrine parade.

A 19-minute walk from Musashi-Masuko Station on the JR Itsukaichi Line.

Kotokuji Temple

Established in the 14th century, the serene Kotokuji Temple is famous for a truly majestic sanmon multi-storied gate covered in moss. The large temple grounds also feature a giant bell tower and smaller temples while the fresh mountain air and extraordinary beauty of the gingko trees and their leaves make autumn the time to visit.

A 25-minute walk from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station on the JR Itsukaichi Line.

Ryushuin Temple

Outdoor beauty at its finest, Ryushuin Temple is surrounded by cherry blossoms and features scores of Buddha statues standing watch at the entrance. Founded some six hundred years ago, the temple grounds are a natural merging of the sacred and the sublime. A must-visit location in the waiting.

A 13-minute drive from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station on the JR Itsukaichi Line.