'Yamadera' means 'mountain temple' which officially called as 'Risshakuji' is a temple of the Tendai sect located in Yamagata prefecture. When climbing the stairs to the temple with determination, step by step, your mind will being purified little by little from covetousness and impurity. And self pride that you will get after struggled your ways untill reached the top, it's as a prize for ones who passed it only could sense.
When passed the main entrance at the foot of the mountain to climb the stone steps, you will find Konponchudo hall near by which has been designated as an important national cultural property. This hall was built in 1356 and has been ranked as the oldest beech wood building of Japan. Inside the hall, there is an eternal light of Buddhism which had been brought from Tendai sec temple "Enryakuji" on Mt.Hiei where its first lit 1200 years ago. It is said that this light have been burning since Yamadera's foundation. In 1521, the flame was out due to the war, but it was lit again after reconstruction of the temple in 1543. And its flame has been burning since then until nowadays.
Along the steps to the upper temple, you will see 「Kawai Sora」 statues of Basho Matsuo and his disciple and slab with a haiku cut on it.
When climb up to the halfway, you will find slab of 'Seki Tsuka' the cut composed phrase from Matsuo's poem.
The very famous phrase which originated from spectacle background of this Yamadera.
Kaizando is a famous open hall of Yamadera which dedicated to Jikaku Daishi, the temple's founder as there is a wooden statue of Daishi enshrined inside the hall. And the oldest building within the mountain is Nokyodo the smaller building located on the rock nearby which was used for copying Sutras. After passed the Kaizando Hall, go deep inside, you will find Godaido Hall, an observatory of Yamadera with the best views of the mountains below that you can experience the exciting sensation of standing at the same height as the opposite mountain as if you were floating in the air.
At the terminus of the pathway, there is Nyohodo where lies a writing brush made from grass fibers, no glue added writing ink and Nyoho hand-copied sutras(by write 1 character after with 3 times of doing worship) of Jikaku Daishi(the temple's founder). It is said to be that these are the stuffs that he was carrying around while was practicing to follow the way of Sakyaamuni and Prabhutaratna in China. In the Hall next to Nyohodo, there is an enshrined place of a 5-meter-height golden Amitabha statue(the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light) which many religious people of all sects of Buddhism visit here to pay respect to.
In front of the last step of staircase to the terminus of the pathway, you will find conspicuous large lantern which finely cavern dragon, Kozuchi(lucky hammer), coral and etc. It is one of Japan's three large lanterns.
・Address：4456-1 Yamadera, Yamagata shi, Yamagata prefecture
・Access：From Yamadera station walk about 6 minutes
・Close：Nyohodo zone closed in winter period
・Admission fee：Adult 300Yen,Junior 200Yen（junior high school student）,Child 100Yen（4 years up）
・Time required：2～4 hours
ORIGINAL ARTICLE SOURCE : www.hisgo.com/visit-japan/