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Horaiji Temple on Mt. Horaiji

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Horaiji Temple on Mt. Horaiji


Experience unspoiled nature on the climb to this 1,300-year-old temple

Aichi Prefecture



Designated a National Natural Monument and a special scenic spot, Aichi Prefecture’s Horaiji Temple was founded in 703 by the hermit Rishu. It is located 695 meters above sea level on the cliffside of a dormant 15 million year-old volcano. To reach the temple you must climb the 1,425 uneven stone steps rising up through a dense ancient forest. Undertaking this pilgrimage provides a taste of Buddhist ascetic training.
The temple nestled amidst nature gives the mountain its name, Mt. Horaiji. The path to the temple is dotted with small shrines and statues of various deities, and around it you will also find the remains of buildings which once were part of the Horaiji complex. The mountain itself is unique with unusual geological features, rocks and mineral formations. Rare birds, such as Japanese scops owls, can be found on the mountain. Their hooting call of “bu-po-so” is said to mean Buddha, sutra, and monk for each sound. Flying squirrels also make their home on the mountain. Look out also for rare ferns, lilies and other vegetation growing amongst the giant cedar and Japanese cypress - all of which add to the feeling of being somewhere special.


How to get there

Take a train from Nagoya Station to Toyohashi Station (about 55 minutes) and transfer to the JR Iida Line to Hon-Nagashino Station (about 1 hour). Then, take the Toyotetsu Bus bound for Mt. Horaiji (about 8 minutes). Alight at the final stop and then walk for about 1 hour and 15 minutes to the temple and shrines.


Horaiji, Kadoya, Shinshiro-shi, Aichi-ken


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