Risshaku-ji Temple, Yamagata

4.5
Travel to the foot of the steep hill of Hōshū-yama to see why Risshaku-ji Temple has been listed as a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site. Found in 860 by a priest named Ennin (posthumously known as Jikaku Daishi), to this day the temple maintains its ritual fires brought from a Tendai monastery. Your visit starts with a 1,000-step climb through dense cedar trees; upon your arrival, notice the seated wooden image of the Buddha Bhaisajyaguru, dating from the Heian period (794-1185). Enter the temple to examine its many cultural assets in the treasure house; afterwards, head to the museum displaying haiku poet Matsuo Bashō's writings and paintings, as well as other related art. Remember to carry extra water, since the ascent to the temple can get tiring. To visit Risshaku-ji Temple and other attractions in Yamagata, use our Yamagata itinerary planner .
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Risshaku-ji Temple Reviews
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836 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The scenery was wonderful. I don't have to say the view from Godaido, but Okunoin was also wonderful. It was good to be able to go when it was energetic because it was a bad place.
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  • Slowly, we walked up a lot of stairs step by step and arrived at the temple. Fortunately, the rest place set up for Emperor Taisho was opened. The location was great.
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Google
  • This temple is truly beautiful when seen from Yamadera Station at the foot of the mountain, but at the mountain-top, the surrounding views are a sight to behold. In winter, everything is blanketed with snow, making the place look like a winter wonderland. Views of the snow covered streets below and surrounding mountains are picturesque and look like a monochromatic painting. Indeed the most beautiful temple I have been to in the whole of Japan. Definitely worth a visit!!
  • Yamadera, also known as Risshaku-ji, is a temple complex on a mountainside in Yamagata. It was founded in 860 and is designated by Japan as a scenic and historical site. It is beautiful in the winter, so it is no surprise that Basho, a famous poet, was inspired by it's beauty and serenity. Just be careful taking the ice-covered steps up the mountain. It’s a small hike up but most folks should have no problems making the trip.
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