Yama-Dera (Hōjusan Risshakuji Temple)

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This mountain temple, of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, is properly known as “Hōjusan Risshakuji Temple.”
It is a historical place, founded in 860 by Jikaku Daishi.
It is believed that, by climbing the stairs up the mountain one by one, desire and impurity are purged, helping you become a bright and sound person.

There are many buildings at the mountain’s summit, but the large building at the top of the stairs, known as “Konpochuudo,” is a nationally designated cultural artifact. The large beechwood structure is said to be the oldest building in Japan.
The wooden statue of the seated healing Buddha, existing here for over 1000 years, allows you to bask in the light of Buddhism.

The climb to the mountain’s summit takes from 40 minutes to an hour, but when you complete the climb you are greeted with a beautiful city view and a feeling of refreshed accomplishment.

Yama-Dera, Hōjusan Risshakuji Temple, Godai-do Temple, Observatory
[Yama-Dera, Hōjusan Risshakuji Temple, Godai-do Temple, Observatory]

Basic information on Yama-Dera (Hōjusan Risshakuji Temple)

Yama-Dera (Hōjusan Risshakuji Temple)

4456-1 Yamadera, Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture
6-minute walk from the JR Yamadera Station
Open every day (Inner sanctum of Risshakuji closed during the winter)
Admission fee
300 yen