Onsenji Temple, a short walk up the hill from the main town is a peaceful place to enjoy fine views of the Mashita River valley below.
Legend has it that after a strong earthquake in 1265 the onsen hot spring dried up until a white heron lead the villagers to the source of a new spring. When the bird flew into the woods in the mountains behind the town, the grateful residents built a temple on the spot where the bird rested in a tall pine tree.
Onsenji is dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of medicine and healing and the temple grounds contain a bell tower and a Shinto shrine to kitsune.
Onsenji Temple is a short walk from Shiunso ryokan (Tel: 0576 25 2101).
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