Risshaku-ji is also known as the Mountain Temple. Passing by countless cedar trees on the way up to this historical place, you can feel the sense of solitude that this remote location provided. The views from Godaido Hall are said to be some of the best in Northern Japan. A thousand years ago, a flame was carried to this temple from the Enryaku-ji monastery near Kyoto. It still burns brightly to this day.
Matsuo Basho and the Mountain Temple
A haiku about the tranquil beauty of the temple is carved into a rock as a tribute to Matsuo Basho. He spent time in Tohoku and worked on his poetry here. The 5-7-5 syllable haiku reads:
Iwa ni shimikomu
Semi no koe
How still it is!
Stinging into the stones,
The locusts' trill.
Visitors to Yama-dera (Mountain Temple) of Risshaku-ji can feel the stillness that inspired one of Japan’s most important literary figures.
(Translation of haiku: Donald Keene, World Within Walls: Japanese Literature of the Pre-Modern Era, 1600-1867, New York, 1999, p. 89 (Translation: Donald Keene)
The elaborately decorated resting place of the powerful Daté feudal lords. Guidance is available in English.
Daté Masamune, the founder of Sendai City and known as The One-Eyed Dragon, are buried in this mausoleum complex. There are several monuments and structures with remarkable designs incorporating gold and colorful patterns.