Climbing Yamadera

Tohoku's famous mountainside temple

By Elena Lisina    - 2 min read

Heading to Yamadera it didn’t occur to me that the climb up would be such a challenge! I’d read it was a picturesque old temple in the rocky mountains, but still... I found that I had to climb about 1 km! At the base of the mountain there are some temples but then the stairs go up and up... and some more up!

People who were heading down from the summit were happily relieved and encouraged those of use who were just starting out. The way wasn’t boring though as there were plenty of old Buddha and jizo statues dotted here and there. Tall cedar trees and high rocks with meditation caves and grave stones all added to the appeal. Whenever level ground appeared I would stop and take in the panoramic views of the area.

Close to the top there is an observation desk with a splendid view with wooded mountains, a river and small village at the bottom. The fine weather in October allowed for a beautifully clear view of the bright colours of the momiji trees. Yamadera is beautiful in any season, even in winter. The top was marked with an old wooden temple and a graveyard, and after visiting these I descended back down the mountain, grateful that I had successfully met the challenge of Yamadera.

Getting there

Yamadera a 5-minute walk from JR Yamadera Station on the JR Senzan Line. It is about one hour by train from Sendai Station. A one way ticket is 840 JPY.

More info

Find out more about Yamadera Temple.

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo!