Sutra repository on a rock peak at Yamadera, overlooking the valley and the mountains to the south.


Yamadera, north of Yamagata City

I was visiting Tōhoku, north of Tōkyō on Japan's largest island of Honshū. I had been exploring the area of Aizu-Wakamatsu and Mount Bandai. Now I was moving north to Yamagata Prefecture.

I would stay in Yamagata City while visiting local sites, especially the Risshaku-ji temple complex spread out along a staircase of a thousand stone steps above Yamadera, and the trail from there through the associated Minenoura ancient temple and ascetic training area.

I started by traveling by train from Aizu-Wakamatsu to Yamagata.

I would see prehistory and history, Bashō the ninja–poet–wanderer's haiku-writing spots, the result of enthroning a psychopathic child Emperor, haiku about cicadas and rocks, a thousand-stairstep climb, monkey and bear warnings, cliff-face shrines, sūtra-copying facilities, and more.

Start❯ By Shinkansen and local train from Aizu-Wakamatsu to Yamagata

Start❯ By Shinkansen and local train from Aizu-Wakamatsu to Yamagata

Other topics in Japan:

Prehistoric Yamato
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Fodors Japan
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Tōhoku region, northern Honshū — Nikkō, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Mount Bandai, Yamadera, Mount Haguro, Aomori
Kansai region, central Honshū — Kyōto, Nara, Kōya-san, Ise, and Ōsaka
Inland Sea — Takamatsu, Naoshima and the art islands, Hiroshima
Kyūshū — Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Sakurajima, Oita, Mount Aso
Kantō region — Tōkyō and nearby
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