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Hōjusan Risshaku-ji Temple, Yamagata

(550+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Travel to the foot of the steep hill of Hōshū-yama to see why Hōjusan 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 Hōjusan Risshaku-ji Temple on your trip to Yamagata, use our Yamagata trip itinerary planner.
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2 days in Yamagata BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Japan BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: April, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Japan BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Yamagata BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in Japan BY A USER FROM VIETNAM September, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Yamagata Prefecture BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE June, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in Japan BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Japan BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES December, teens, kids, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in Japan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 26 days in Japan BY A USER FROM CANADA April, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 5 days in Sendai & Yamagata BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It takes about one hour from Sendai by train so it's perfect for a day trip. If you want you can leave your luggage in the shop next to the station. The area is well sign posted and easy to find. Don'...  more »
  • About an hour by train from Sendai is this pretty temple. The climb isn't difficult, though there were some areas that had a build up of snow. 30 minutes to the top, great view. 300 yen entrance fee. ...  more »
  • Yamadera山寺described a temple complex on the mountain. In it, the most famous is Risshaku-ji (立石寺, founded in the year of 860 AD). This temple complex is unique in that the top temple大佛殿is 1,015 steps ...  more »
Google
  • Really nice place to get away from the city. Located only about thirty minutes away from Sendai Station, this temple and surrounding areas is lovely. The hike was nice and not too difficult. But there are many steps so if you have health concerns please take care. Beautiful views!
  • Decent climb but easily doable. Everyone I meet along the way friendly. Hot tip toilet at base of stairs use them as I saw nothing at the top which didn't suit my 9 yr old. Was a quick trip down. Well worth the effort of getting there also.
  • Steep but scenic climb to this temple on top of the mountain. It no doubt has historic value as one of the oldest temples, but I found it a bit overrated. Once one is at the top, the view below is nice.
  • Interesting temple complex. Very busy during GW! Keep in mind that it is a difficult hike up the stairs.
  • Its a crazy thought that I actually was able to go here! Japan is absolutely amazing and I am in the process of learning the language now! You need to come here! This temple is so cool!