In April when we went to Japan, we managed to go to the Katsuo-ji temple, a place we have never visited before. It’s quite hard to get to by public transportation, but we were lucky enough to get a ride up to the mountain.
As we were approaching, we got excited because it looked like we would finally see some blooming Sakura trees. Until then we were quite unlucky, missing the full bloom by just a few days. The trees added to the already amazing view.
Katsuo-ji Temple is unique mostly because of the tiny Daruma dolls that people leave behind for good fortune. The place is filled with these dolls, each and every one representing a person that came there and made a wish. Of course we bought them too and spent some time looking for the best spot to leave it behind.
The entrance to the temple is quite magnificent. Not only is the gate to the temple gorgeous, but right behind it is a bridge that crosses a pond. Off to one side of the pond is an island with a small red shrine. To complete the look you have blooming Sakura trees and a fog machine to give the place a mystical look. We knew that the Japanese like to create quite an experience when visiting places like this, but the fog machine really surprised us.
We then climbed the stairs, first to the red temple, where they sold the small Daruma dolls. The view there was amazing, but when we climbed even higher, to the brown temple, we were treated to a mesmerizing view of the pond below and the mountains around us.
On the way down, we walked by a pagoda, which had intricate designs on it, and then through more blooming trees.
Katsuo-ji temple is a little difficult to get to, but we were in awe. The place has a mystical feel to it (not just because of the fog machine) and you can truly appreciate how many people come and visit by seeing all the Daruma dolls. If you get the chance, definitely go.