Travel to the foot of the steep hill of Hōshū-yama to see why 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 Risshaku-ji Temple and other attractions in Yamagata, use our Yamagata itinerary planner.
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Risshaku-ji Temple reviews
The autumn colors are amazing. I went on a Monday and it was not busy. For 200 yen it is an incredible value.
The autumn colors are amazing. I went on a Monday and it was not busy. For 200 yen it is an incredible value. more »
You might think you've seen too many temples already, but this place is really special. You have to climb 1000 step to get to the temple, but the path up there is beautiful, lined by trees and...
You might think you've seen too many temples already, but this place is really special. You have to climb 1000 step to get to the temple, but the path up there is beautiful, lined by trees and... more »
I feel weird rating temples, but here goes: Great temple, beautiful and striking. During fall there are some striking colors. We had train trouble on the way home, there was maintenance contraction going on, and it was still absolutely worth the trip. Occasionally has school trips, so you'll likely meet a group or two, but everyone was pretty relaxed. Also on the side of a mountain, so I hope you like stairs.
Lovely place. Get their early or on a weekday to avoid the crowds and soak up the atmosphere. Also recommend having a dip in the river to cool off in the summer - walk 5 minutes along the road towards the gelato shop, there's a local swimming spot.
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