The mountain temple is designated as part of the Zao National Park (Class II Special Zone) and has been worshipped from ancient times as a temple to cut bad relationships.

It is also well-known as the place where the poet Matsuo Basho visited in 1689 and which appears in his travelogue The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

His famous haiku poem “How still it is here . . . Stinging into the stones, The locusts’ trill” was read at this temple.


Yamadera Basho Museum

Yamadera Basho Museum

This museum was built in commemoration of Basho’s visit to Yamadera (Risshakuji) 300 years ago and also Yamagata City’s 100th anniversary.

The beautiful garden commands a wonderful view of Yamadera.

Stone Steps

Stone Steps

The stone path that leads up to the Okunoin area and the Daibutsuden Hall has over 800 steps.

Along the way is a monument called “Semizuka” which contains a poem that Basho wrote.

Niomon Gate

Niomon Gate

The gate was rebuilt in 1848 using Japanese zelkova, showing both elegance and grandness.

The two Nio guardian gods standing at both sides of the gate are said to be made by the apprentices of Unkei, a master sculptor of Buddhist statues of the 12th century.

The gods glare fiercely to prevent people with malicious hearts from entering.

Godaido Hall

Godaido Hall

This is a hall that enshrines Godai-myo-o to pray for peace throughout the world.

It also boasts the best observation deck in Yamadera.

Below spreads a magnificent view that only those who climbed the steep steps can see.


Kumano Taisha

A Historical 1,200-Year-Old Shrine that Worships the God of Matchmaking

Ginzan Onsen

A Hot Spring Town with “Taisho Romanticism” Atmosphere that Thrived as a Silver Mining Town

Sakata City

Graceful Cultural Crossroads Town that Flourished with Kitamaebune Trade Ships