Associated with the Tendai school of Buddhism, which was originally founded in China, Daisen-ji has over 1300 years of history on Mt. Daisen. This goes back to the days when only priests were allowed to traverse its slopes. Today Daisen is an accessible magnet for people looking for a bit of fun, adventure and spirituality.
The temple has long been a spiritual retreat and training center for Buddhist initiates, acolytes and would-be monks. Research conducted on the history of Mt. Daisen has shown that the number of temples on the mountain increased from the Heian era (794-1185) as Buddhism became more widely practiced.
At its peak Daisen-ji is said to have had a domain that included as many as 100 temples and 3000 priests. Today there are just over a dozen affiliated places of worship that remain. The main hall of the temple was destroyed by fire in 1928 and rebuilt in 1951.
As Daisen-ji is the head of a collection of temples on the mountain, it is the ideal starting point for trek to all of them on foot, which can be done with a guide if you chose. On your tour, you have the option of also stopping at one of the fine eateries on the mountain for lunch to power up for the rest of your journey.
It is not necessary to be a Buddhist to visit Daisen-ji or any of its associated temples. Everyone is welcome to experience the beauty and variety found in its structures which decorate the slopes of Mt. Daisen. You can also join in on temple activities such has Zazen meditation workshops.
A few of Daisen-ji Temple’s major annual events include its New Year’s Day ceremony and April 8th Flower Festival.
Access: Take the Super Yakumo from JR Okayama Station to JR Yonago Station. Daisen-ji is about a 35-minute taxi ride from JR Yonago Station.
About the Area
Daisen Town is defined by the signature feature on its landscape, namely, Mt. Daisen. One of the advantages of visiting the district as a traveler is that you can explore the mountains and the seaside all in one day. Enjoy outdoor alpine activities on Mt. Daisen and make your way to all the mountain temples. Then head to the coast, where you will find not only a marvelous view but also some of the finest seafood the region has to offer.
Another good thing about being in western Tottori Prefecture is that you have easy access to Heizu Village, Sakaiminato City and Yonago City, as they are all along the coast. You could actually spend several days city, town and village hopping in this action-packed part of the prefecture.
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