Ishiyamadera Temple 石山寺
A venerable temple that inspired The Tale of Genji and Hiroshige
Ishiyamadera Temple is a gorgeous temple complex that played a major role in the history of Japan. It was constructed around 747 and takes its name "stone mountain" from the unusual stone outcropping on which it is built.
See the unusual wollastonite National Monument
Visit the room dedicated to Japan's first novelist, Lady Murasaki
Don't miss the ancient Chinese artifacts
How to Get There
Ishiyamadera is accessible by JR train.
From Kyoto, take the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line to Ishiyamadera Station, and then walk 10 minutes. From Kyoto or other locations, you can also take the JR Tokaido Line to Ishiyama Station and change there for the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line to Ishiyamadera Station.
Inspiring beauty since 747
The temple looms large in Japanese cultural history. This is where a full moon inspired Murasaki Shikibu to begin writing her book, “The Tale of Genji,” in 1004, giving Japan, and perhaps the world, its first novel. The temple maintains a room and statues in her honor.
The Eight Views of Omi
The moonlight on Lake Biwa as seen from Ishiyamadera, has also been memorialized as one of the Eight Views of Omi, a motif in Japanese art for centuries. The view was captured in ukiyoe woodcut prints by Harunobo and the legendary Hiroshige, who is said to have inspired Vincent van Gogh.
A mecca for pilgrims
Ishiyamadera is one of the 33 temples in the Kansai region making up a pilgrimage dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist deity of mercy and compassion. Given its spiritual significance, it also houses numerous National Treasures and important works of religious art.