One weekend, we took a drive out to katsuyama to visit Heisen-ji temple at the base of Mt. Haku. The drive was scenic and when we arrived we felt very far away from people other than those visiting the temple and coffee shop. The temple was established by Taicho Daishi in the 8th century.
The area is full of tall ceder trees, ferns, and moss covered everything. Throughout the area are little shrines and remaining buildings. It was fun to walk around fully surrounded by trees and foliage.
While visiting the temple, we stopped to have a snack at the little cafe there. We tried a cold matcha tea drink with milk and it was very delicious. The woman who was working was a host mom of another alt in the area and she spoke amazing English. There was another couple who had lived in Honduras and wanted to speak English.
After, we drove past Katsuyama castle and stopped to check it out. It was redone in the 90s and the inside was just a museum and not a replica of what it might have looked like.