Yama-Dera (Hōjusan Risshakuji Temple)

Climb 1015 Stone Steps to Reach the Top to Worship! A Temple Said to Cut Out Bad Relationships.

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Temple

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, with each step you take up the 1015 stone steps, your worldly desires are purged. Furthermore, it has also been worshipped since ancient times as a temple that helps to cut out bad relationships and forge good bonds.

There are many buildings at the mountain’s summit, but the building at the beginning of the ascent, known as “Konponchuudo,” is a nationally designated cultural artifact. The large beechwood structure is said to be the oldest building in Japan.
Within the building is a wooden statue of the seated healing Buddha that has existed here for over 1000 years, allowing visitors to bask in the light of Buddhism.

It is said that the poet “Matsuo Basho” wrote his famous verse “shizukesa ya iwa ni shimi-iru semi no koe (deep silence; the shrill of cicadas seeps into rocks)” at this very temple, and there is a monument to this event called “Semi-zuka,” or “Cicada Mound,” to commemorate it along the way to the summit.
After climbing about 800 steps, visitors will come across Daibutsuden, where a golden statue of Amida Nyorai standing over 5 meters tall is enshrined, and the inner sanctuary.

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 view and a feeling of refreshing accomplishment. The stunning view from “Godaigo” on the cliff is a particular must-see.

Highlights

  • As visitors must climb 1015 stone steps to reach the summit, be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
  • This is a famous temple where the poet Matsuo Basho wrote a famous verse.
  • ”Konpochuudo” has been designated as a nationally designated cultural artifact.
  • Take in a beautiful view from Godaigo along the cliff.

Photos

  • Konponchuudo

    Konponchuudo

  • View from Daibutsuden

    View from Daibutsuden

  • Godaigo

    Godaigo

  • Kaisando

    Kaisando

  • Oku-no-In

    Oku-no-In

  • Mountain temple during autumn

    Mountain temple during autumn

Reviews

4
  • ティナ

    不曉得會這麼累,爬了快千階的樓梯,還好有堅持下去,山頂上的風景太美了。

  • AnAan

    冬天去很多階梯上面都結冰,沒有穿冰爪會很不好走而且很危險!

  • LIN_CHING_HUI

    想要欣賞到美麗的風景,就必須先接受艱困的挑戰

  • Chun Liu

    一千多個階梯真不輕鬆,邊爬邊拍照景花了快兩個小時才登上展望台,從高處看下去整個視野開闊心情很舒爽,很棒的景點👍

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Details

Name in Japanese
山寺(宝珠山立石寺)
Postal Code
999-3301
Address
4456-1 Yamadera, Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture
Tel
023-695-2843
Business Hours
8:00am-5:00pm
Closed
Open every day (Inner sanctum of Risshakuji closed during the winter)
Admission fee
300 yen
Access
6-minute walk from the JR Yamadera Station
Official Website
Official Website (Japanese)