• Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo

Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku

Misasa-cho, Tohaku County


A famous temple that seems to float in space will change your outlook on life

The mountain roads on the 900 meter elevation of Mount Mitoku are studded with mountain temples such as the main hall and halls dedicated to Kannon. This has been a sacred place since the Heian period, and many ascetic monks have climbed the mountain. The most famous out of all the temples here is Nageire Hall, deep in the interior. This temple, filling an indentation cut vertically into a cliff is still shrouded in mystery as to who built it and when. The elegant grounds of the shrine are built on top of a beautiful network of scaffolding. It is easy to wonder what kind of scenery its builders wanted to see when creating this structure. Although it can only be viewed from the outside, it is said that this famous temple at the end of a steep mountain road will change your outlook on life.

  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo

Getting to Nageire hall is like a test in itself where you must pass a steep mountain road

The mountain road leading to Nageire Hall is among the steepest of all mountain temples in Japan. First you must pass the main hall, then pay the toll at the office near the entrance to the road and listen to the precautions. You may only enter the mountain with two or more people, and only if you have shoes with rugged soles or hiking boots. It is also a good idea to take along gloves, a backpack, and water to keep hydrated. The trip is approximately 900 meters one way. Gripping iron chocks you will cross over massive slabs of rock, and traverse the gigantic Cow’s Back and Horse’s Back boulders. After visiting the Kannon hall, Nageiri Hall is close by.

  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo
  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo

The legend of the birth of Nageiri Hall in Mount Mitoku

A temple was first founded on Mount Mitoku in the year 706. It is said that this was founded as a place for training by the ascetic monk En no Gyoja, the progenitor of mountain training for monks. Around one hundred and fifty years later, master Jikaku Daishi Ennin, who traveled all over Japan founding temples, enshrined three Buddhist statues here, and it came to be called Sanbutsu-ji Temple. However, there isn’t a single historical document about Nageire Hall. Legend has it that a hall built at the foothills of the mountain by En no Gyoja was miraculously thrown to the cliff at the top of the mountain. Along the road you will find Jizo statues and stone monuments, and wildflowers blooming along the sides. Cast your eyes about on small denizens of nature and feel the teachings of Buddhism that Buddha dwells in all things.

  • Sanbutsu-ji Temple on Mount Mitoku's photo

For reference

  • Address
    1010 Mitoku, Misasa-cho, Tottori-ken
  • Telephone
    0858−43−2666
  • Hours
    8:00 am to 5:00 pm (to 3:00 pm for Nageire Hall)
  • Open
    from April to November (closed during winter)
  • Price
    Mountain toll 400 yen, worship at Nageire Hall 200 yen
  • Recommended season
    Spring to autumn

Access

Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport is approximately a one hour and 15 minute flight from Haneda Airport.
  • From Tottori Airport, take the Hinomaru Airport Shuttle Bus to Misasa Hot Spring (1 hour). Get off at the Misasa Hot Spring entrance. Transfer to the Hinomaru Bus Misasa Line and get off at the entrance to Mount Mitoku mountain road (15 min).
Yonago Kitaro Airport is approximately a one hour and 15 minute flight from Haneda Airport.
  • From Yonago Kitaro Airport, take to train to JR Yonago Station (30 min). From Yonago Station, take the Limited Express Super Matsukaze to Kurayoshi Station (approx. 1 hour). At Kurayoshi Station, take the Hinomaru Bus to the entrance to Mount Mitoku mountain road (35 min).

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