There are three temples in the Kanto Region that are known to worship the Tengu goblins, namely, Kashozan Miroku-ji Temple, Furumine Jinja Shrine in Tochigi, and Takaosan Yakuouin Temple in Tokyo. Tengu goblins are often depicted holding an uchiwa or Japanese fan that sweeps away misfortune, brings about good fortune, and can fly them a thousand miles away.
Kashozan is approximately 16 km away from downtown Numata. The mountain is beautiful in each of the four seasons: fresh green in spring, Raicho ptarmigan birds singing in summer, colored leaves in fall, and snow white in winter. Miroku-ji Temple was founded in 848 as a Buddhist temple of the Tendai School. In 1456, however, it was converted to a Soto School temple and became the prayer temple of the Tokugawa Shogunate Government in the Edo Period (1603-1867).
There is a unique custom at Miroku-ji. As you leave the temple after your visit, you borrow a Tengu goblin mask to take home. When you come back to the temple, you buy a new mask at a store in the temple town as an offering to the temple along with the one you return to the temple.
There are three giant Tengu masks in the temple. In chronological order of enshrinement, the first one is 6.5 meters wide with a nose as long as 2.8 meters, which is the largest in the country. The second one is 5.5 meters wide with a 2.7-meter-long nose. The third one is 4.2 meters wide with a 2.9-meter-long nose. Each of these masks are dedicated to Miroku-ji Temple by different parties for different reasons, but they all are used in the local festival and have become the signature procession of the Numata Festival.
Nearby sightseeing spots
City of Numata
Oigami Onsen Spa Resort
Niagara Falls of the Orient (Fukiwarenotaki) (Closed for visitors during winter)
Tourist Information on Minakami, Oze Numata Area (in English)