HOME > Major Tourism Spots > Yamadera


This ancient temple was founded in 860 AD by Ennin, a monk of the Tendai sect of Buddhism. Yamadera simply means “mountain temple,” although its proper name is Hojusanrishaku-ji. This temple is one of the most significant sacred sites in the Northeastern Tohoku region of Japan, capturing the attention of an enormous number of the faithful. It is said that earthly desires blocking you from enlightenment begin to fade away with each step you take up the 1,015 stone stairs on the trek from the foot of the mountain to the temple itself. At the end of the stone stairs is the Godai-dou, known to have the best view in Yamadera. The view from Godai-dou will make you forget your weary feet.

Yamadera is also famous as the subject of a haiku by the renowned poet Matsuo Basho.

seeps into the stones
the cry of the cicadas

In recent years Yamadera has become more and more popular with tourists outside of Japan, and Yamagata Prefecture has established a training program to educate foreign language speaking volunteer tour guides (currently available in Chinese and Korean).

  • Hours of Operation: 8:00? 17:00 (Year Round)
  • Entrance Fee: 300 Yen
  • Volunteer Guides Information:
    Available: Year Round
    Tour Length: Approximately 2 Hours
    Reservations: Please RSVP 2 Days in Advance
    Fee: 2,300 Yen (Tour: 2000 Yen, Entrance Fee: 300 Yen)
  • Access: Take the Sendai Line from JR Yamagata station for approximately 20 minutes to the JR Yamadera Station.

  • Yamadera Station Access Map
  • *Convenient Access from Yamadera to the Tendo Hot Springs
    One Coin Taxi
    One coin taxi service is available only for groups of 2 or more people. Reservations are required.
    Fee: 500 Yen per person for a one-way trip
    It takes approximately 30 minutes to go between Yamadera and the Tendo Hot Springs via the One Coin Taxi.
    Shuttle Bus
    Runs only on Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays
    Stops at various sight seeing locations
    Free of Charge
    Departs approximately once an hour
    30 minute one way trip
  • For More Information: Yamadera Tourism Infomation Center (Japanese)
    Address: 999-3301 Yamagata-ken, Yamagata-shi, Yamadera 4494-15
    Phone: +81-23-695-2816   Fax: +81-23-695-2810
    Official Web Site (Japanese)



[For More Information Contact]
(Japanese and English)
The Yamagata Tourism Information Center
Yamagata Prefecture, Yamagata City, Jonanmachi, 1-1-1, Kajo Central
Phone +81-23-647-2333   Fax +81-23-646-6333   E-mail info@yamagatakanko.com