The Yakuo-in Temple is a buddhist temple located on Mount Takao and was initially known as Takao-san Yakuo-in Yuki-ji. It is now known around the world as the Yakuo-in Temple. Established in 744 by the orders of Emperor Shomu, the temple served as a base for Buddhism in Eastern Japan and its founder Gyoki, who was a charismatic priest closely associated with the construction of the Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple in Nara.
The temple buildings feature intricate carvings and paintings that are unlike the simplistic decorative approach favored by most Japanese temples. Lavish but well short of gaudy, the detail work will leave visitors circling around the backsides of buildings for hours in an effort to see every last section of it. The brilliance of color contrasts the lush greenery of the surrounding mountain forest, and looks especially beautiful when set against the autumn colors. From building to building and even on the stairs between levels, Yakuo-in maintains a powerful serenity that touches its visitors.