Ascending the 1,015 steps to the summit of Risshaku-ji (Yamadera Temple) allows one to have a magnificent view of the valley. Risshaku-ji means “mountain temple” and it was founded in 860 to oversee the Tendai Buddhism Sect in Tohoku. The temple is made up of shrines, gates and monuments that have strong religious significance. The Konpon-chu-do hall, Yamadera’s main hall, was rebuilt in the 14th century and it houses a Buddhist flame that has been lit for over 1,000 years. Hiho-kan (treasure hall), built in 1144, is where statues of high priests and precious Buddhist artefacts are stored.
Best time to visit: April to November
Address: Japan, 〒999-3301 Yamagata-ken, Yamagata-shi, Yamadera, 4456-1
Phone: not available