Top choice in Nagano Region

Comprising three sub-shrines, Togakushi-Hōkōsha, Togakushi-Chūsha and Togakushi-Okusha, each a few kilometres apart, Togakushi-jinja honours the 1911m-high Togakushi-san. According to legend, the mountain is where sun goddess Amaterasu hid in a cave behind a stone door, plunging the world into darkness, before another deity flung the door away, luring her out and restoring light. Chūsha, located in the middle of the village, is the easiest shrine to get to.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nagano Region attractions

1. Togakushi-Chūsha

0.01 MILES

One of the three sub-shrines of Togakushi-jinja, intimate Chūsha, meaning 'middle shrine', is the most accessible, located prominently in the centre of…

2. Togakushi-Hōkōsha

0.86 MILES

Although it's nestled among cedars apparently close to the village, Hōkōsha, the pretty lower sub-shrine of Togakushi-jinja, is reached via 274 ancient,…

3. Togakushi Folk Museum & Ninja House

0.99 MILES

Above the Okusha bus stop you'll find this museum housing artefacts from a time when local yamabushi (mountain monks) practised what became known as ninpo…

4. Togakushi-Okusha

1.99 MILES

From Okusha bus stop it's 2km (40 minutes' walk) to Okusha (meaning 'Upper Shrine') – the innermost of the three sub-shrines making up Togakushi-jinja –…

5. Zenkō-ji

7.98 MILES

Founded in the 7th century, National Treasure Zenkō-ji is home to the revered statue Ikkō-Sanzon, said to be the first Buddhist image to arrive in Japan …

6. Japanese Lamp & Lighting Museum

13.16 MILES

Showcasing lighting through Japanese history, including oil lamps and lanterns, this neat museum will flip the switches of design aficionados.

7. Takai Kōzan Kinenkan

13.29 MILES

Takai Kōzan, woodblock artist Hokusai's friend and patron, was a businessman and an accomplished classical artist specialising in elegant Chinese-style…

8. Hokusai Museum

13.31 MILES

Japan's most famous ukiyo-e (woodblock print) artist, Hokusai, spent his final years in Obuse. There's an audiovisual presentation on his life in the…