Near Yakushi-ike Park, past the two thatched farm houses, a path leads up the leafy hillside to a small, attractive temple named Yakushi-do. The temple is surrounded by beautiful farmland and is fairly close to the Peony Garden and Farming Museum. Yakushi-do is one of the temples where you can take part in the Buddhist tradition of tolling the bell 108 times on New Year's Eve. They also have free amazake at New Year.
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for 1 year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for 9 years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014.I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.