Yamadera is an ancient Buddhist temple complex built into a rugged, steep mountainside, enshrouded in ferns and tall cedars. It is considered a spiritual power spot, and one of the most scenic and celebrated temples in all of the Tohoku region.
Founded by Tendai master Jikaku Daishi over one thousand years ago, Yamadera was the first Tendai temple in northern Japan. As you climb the 1,015 steps to the top, learn about the history, culture, and lore with each step.
While visitors will undoubtedly enjoy the astounding views and sublime atmosphere, unfortunately English-language signage or information is in short supply. This experience is the only English-language guided tour available, and our goal is to further enrich your visit by elucidating the story of Yamadera, through its monuments, history, and the philosophies of Tendai Buddhism which shaped the temple’s development. You’ll also learn about its most esteemed figures, namely founder Jikaku Daishi, and Japan’s most famous haiku poet, Basho, who made Yamadera well known through his poetry
For more details on Yamadera, see our full article.