With my bus tour of Gokayama and Shirakawago concluded, I arrived back in Takayama in the late afternoon and before the sun went down I managed to squeeze in a short visit to Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine. A local legend says that this shrine was founded in the 4th century but no one really knows exactly when it was first built. What is for certain is that Sakurayama is the oldest shrine in Takayama and each year it is one of the host sites for a major festival that is held in both spring and autumn. The name Sakurayama translates to “hill of cherry blossoms” and the shrine is a popular spot each year when all the cherry trees start to bloom. From up on the hill where the shrine is located there’s not too much of a view but there are a few spots where you can get glimpses of Takayama and the nearby areas.
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