The temple precincts cover the whole mountain on which there are scores of strangely shaped rocks. The scenery alone deserves the name of Yamadera (meaning: mountain temple). As visitors ascend the 1015 stone steps cut from rock it is said your acquired desire and impurity will disappear. Godaido, at the top of the steps provides for a glorious view and a stone tablet has inscribed upon it a very famous poem written by Basho himself: Sizukasa ya / Iwa ni shimi iru / Semi no koe (“The stillness / Seeping into the rock / The chirping of cicadas.”) The tablet stands near Konponchudo.

A statue of Basho, sitting on a rock and wearing a traveler’s outfit with a face displaying determination can also be seen.

The nearby Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum was founded in 1989 in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of Basho visiting. Inside, as well as viewing the collection, powdered green tea can be tried in the in the tea room.

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Yamagata Article

Nature/spectacular views/scenery Article