Shiratori Shrine 白鳥神社
The oldest shrine in Ebino. Nestled in the foothills of Ebino Plateau, what this shrine lacks in size it makes up for in natural beauty and history. Wood from the surrounding forest is transported across Japan and used in the construction of other shrines, most notably the 東大寺 in Nara, housing the Great Budda. There are two points of access to the shrine: the upper route by car is most convenient but for the adventurous you can take the lower access by foot, there is ample parking available. Directly opposite the onsen is a viewing platform which offers a great view of the Ebino valley and it’s surroundings.
Location: 白鳥神社 (map)
Ebino Eco Museum Center えびのエコミュージアム
On Ebino Kougen, the Eco Museum Center provides tons of great information about this area. While the website is only in Japanese, if you visit the center in person you will be able to obtain a wealth of English resources.
Location: えびのエコミュージアム (map)
Kuruson Gorge Area
A slight drive into the mountains to the north of Ebino will bring you to Kuruson Gorge. The valley was used as a sacred training ground for priests as early as 700 BC and the ruins of the second oldest Zen temple in Japan can be found here. It is said to be the birthplace of Kuruson (Sanskrit : Krakucchanda),one of the seven previous incarnations of Buddha. Today, beautiful spring greenery, fall colors, summer camping and river swimming are available. For the fishing enthusiasts, this place must not be missed, though fishing permits are required. Yearly permits cost 3,000 yen and daily permits are 500 yen. They can be obtained at Sōma Shōten (map).
Location: Kuruson Gorge (map)
Bishamon Waterfall 毘沙門の滝
Bishamon is one of Buddhism’s Seven Gods of Good Fortune and is said to have stayed in a nearby temple for a period in the late 1600s. The waters fall approximately 20 meters in total and are complemented by one kilometer of secluded walking trails maintained by community volunteers. The road to Bishamon is an adventure in itself, research and mapping beforehand are recommended as signage is minimal and not always accurate.
Location: 毘沙門の滝 (map)