Japan Travel by NAVITIME - Japan Travel Guides, Transit Search and Itinerary Planner

Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

Mount Mitoku, like other sacred mountains in Tottori, has been a place for the practice and training of mountain ascetics for over 1,300 years. It has been home to many temples and places of worship built on its rocky slopes, but none more famous and impressive than Sanbutsu Temple and its Nageiri Hall.

  • Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Visiting this temple complex isn’t for everyone, and seeing it all will require a fair bit of climbing and coordination. You’ll definitely need good shoes for climbing, though if you aren’t equipped you can purchase traditional straw sandals that the monks wear and try it the old-fashioned way. In many cases, they won’t even let you in without the right footwear, including many types of sneakers. You’ll need to enter through the official climber’s office and go with at least one other person, though if you’re on your own you can likely find a companion at some point. Guided tours are available, but require a reservation in advance.

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Once you’ve made it up the mountain, you’ll arrive in a complex of multiple halls, built in various times over many centuries, offering incredible views down the slopes and across valleys. The Monju Hall in particular has an exterior deck that wraps around it and is the perfect observation point for taking in the heights you’ve achieved.

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    The complex is accessible all year (they do close the trails during inclement weather) and worth the trip if you’re up for a challenge, autumn is a particularly vibrant time as the trees in the valley turn all sorts of colors, and the cooler weather is perfect for taming a strenuous hike. However, no matter what time of year that you go, the setting of Sanbutsu itself makes the panoramas look incredible.

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Of course, the highlight of any trip to Mount Mitoku and Sanbutsu Temple is actually embedded in the mountain itself. Once called “Japan’s best architectural work” by Ken Domon, the renowned photographer, the Nageire Hall on the premises of the Sanbutsu Temple, is intricately built directly into the side of Mount Mitoku, seemingly clinging precariously to the rocks. While no one knows the exact origin of this incredible structure, it was built over 1,000 years ago and has captured the imaginations of visitors and devotees ever since. To access it, you won’t need to walk too far, but you’ll have to negotiate slippery rocks and be able to pull yourself up when you need to.

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Aside from the magnificent buildings, all around the temple grounds you’ll find plenty of history, art, and artifacts both in and out of the various halls. From Buddhist carvings and statues well over 1,000 years old to other “gongen” depicting multiple deities covered in moss and smiling slyly, Sanbutsu Temple has the peaceful air of a curated, yet natural environment designed for quiet reflection and study. As would be appropriate, to get to such a place you have to put in some effort and sweat for it to pay off.

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Sambutsu Temple at Mt. Mitoku

    Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple
    Address
    Tottori Pref. Touhakugunmisasachou Mitoku 1010
    Phone
    0858432666
    Mitokusan Sanbutsuji Temple Nageiredo Hall
    Address
    Tottori Pref. Touhakugunmisasachou Mitoku 1010
    Phone
    0858432666
  • Facebookでシェアする
  • Twitterでシェアする