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Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple


A mountain side temple that's called the most dangerous national treasure in Japan

Tottori Prefecture



Through all the seasons the scenery around 900-meter tall Mt. Mitoku in the central part of Tottori makes it a beautiful spot to visit. The mountain is the location of the Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple. The most extraordinary part of this temple is Nageiredō, a wooden prayer hall built into the mouth of a cave on a sheer precipice of the mountain. It is a one-of-a-kind national architectural treasure renowned for the beauty of its jaunty roof and hall support beams.


The precise date of Nageiredō’s construction is unknown, but legend has it that the structure was built from the ground up through the spiritual power of the monk En no Gyōja, the founder of religious mountain training known as shugendō. Mt. Mitoku was a place for monks to practice shugendō. The rocky and slippery mountain path to reach Nageiredō is narrow in parts and has chains to help climbers over the trickiest sections. This challenging approach is why the temple is called the most dangerous national treasure in Japan.


Plan your itinerary to take in other interesting sights near Mt. Mitoku. Misasa Onsen was discovered 850 years ago and is famous for the exceptional quality of its hot spring water which has one of the highest radon contents in the world. The old castle town of Kurayoshi is worth visiting to walk around its historic merchant quarters where you can see classic white-walled warehouses.


How to get there


22 minutes from JR Kurayoshi Station by car; Or 44 minutes from Tottori Airport by car.



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