Takao area is stretching along Shuzan traditional country road, which lies from Kyoto city and leads to Japanese Sea. It has three mountain temples, Takao-san Jingoji temple, Makinoo-zan Saimyoji temple and Toganoyama Kouzanji temple. These three mountains altogether are also called as Sanbi.
Jingoji temple, located in right before the entrance of Sanbi, is the temple built to a guardian deity of noble Wake no Kiyomaro, who contributed to establish Heian-kyo, the ancient Kyoto. Later on, one of the most famous priest Koubou Daishi Kukai built the foundation of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism there. It holds numbers of esoteric Buddhism art like the Statue of Yakushinyorai, which is a national treasure. There are some historical establishments such as Golden main hall, Taishi-do hall and Tahoto pagoda interspersed in the vast mountain. The scenic view of Kinunkyo gorge from Jizouin temple is absolutely brilliant. Jingoji temple is also considered as an origin place of Kawarake-nage refers to throwing an unglazed or sunbaked earthen sake cup or dish from a high place, wishing protection from evil and so on.
When you pass Jingoji temple and go straight, you will find Saimyoji temple. Saimyoji is a mountain temple for Shingon sect that was established by Koubou Daishi’s best pupil and it offers four seasonal views; cherry blossoms and azalea for spring, green lively leaves in summer, colorful autumn leaves and white snow scape in winter.
Kouzanji temple is in the deepest place in Sanbi and is a temple registered as a World Heritage Site where is well known for Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga. The temple is reconstructed by a famous monk names Myoe-Syonin from Kamakura period since 1192 A.D. and holds a great deal of national treasure and important cultural assets that are protected over the periods. Moreover, Kouzanji temple has an oldest tea garden in Japan and believed as an origin place of tea ceremony. Although all the mountains of Sanbi are famous for their amazing views that they express and is recommended to visit especially in summer since it is much cooler than the city central. You can play in the river with the sound of cicadas, and indulge the local cuisine by a river between the mountains.