A new gallery: a day trip to Mt Takao
Mount Takao is a wonderful day-trip from Tokyo, around 1 hour from downtown. After getting in town, you can hike to the top or take a funicular through the trees — a beautiful ride during the fall colors season. From the 600m altitude, you can observe beautiful views and visit the Buddhist temple. It features many statues of the Tengu. Here’s an explanation from the Temple’s website:
Tengu, long-nosed demon-like beings, are believed to dwell on sacred mountains acting as the messengers of the deities and buddhas to chastise evildoers and protect the good. They are often depicted holding a uchiwa (Japanese fan), that sweeps away misfortune and brings about good fortune.
Mount Takao is closely associated with devotion to tengu. Two figures standing in front of the Izuna Gongen-do Hall exemplify the two types of tengu. The smaller tengu is depicted with a beak of crow, while the larger one has a big nose. The small tengu is considered to be still undergoing religious training, while the large tengu is often likened to an experienced yamabushi who has attained spiritual power through religious training at Mount Takao.