Backed by the sacred peak of Mount Ōyama, Atsugi is a lively city on the western outskirts of Tokyo. It’s home to the Buddhist pilgrimage temple of Iiyama Kannon and the mountaintop Afuri Shrine and is near Lake Miyagase and the Lake Sagami Pleasure Park.
Things to do in Atsugi
Visit the Shingon Buddhist temple of Chōkoku-ji, which forms part of the Bandō Sanjūsankasho pilgrimage circuit. It’s commonly referred to as the Iiyama Kannon after its bronze icon of worship, which is housed within an Edo-period Main Hall surrounded by cherry blossom trees.
Ride the cable car up the slopes of Mount Ōyama, a holy natural landmark east of Atsugi. It’s a short walk from the upper cable car station to the Afuri Shrine and the mountain’s summit, which affords magnificent views of the surrounding Tanzawa-Ōyama Quasi-National Park.
Alternatively, explore the hiking trails of Mount Takao in nearby Sagamihara and visit the Buddhist temple of Takaosan Yakuōin Yūkiji. Stay until it’s dark to experience the spectacular illuminations at the Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest, which also boasts a variety of rides, attractions and stage shows.
Sweeping views of the Tanzawa Mountains are also on offer from Lake Miyagase, which lies to the north of Atsugi en route to Sagamihara. Wander along the boardwalk over the lake’s marsh and onto its 315-metre-long suspension bridge or rent a kayak to explore this picturesque man-made reservoir from the water.
Getting around Atsugi
Atsugi is around one hour by train from the centre of Tokyo and around 1.5 hours from Haneda Airport, while Odawara lies 40 minutes east. Buses and taxis travel throughout Atsugi and connect the surrounding sights.