Honzan Jionji Temple

A famous temple designated as a National Historic Site.

According to the legend of this famous temple, which is designated as a national historic site, during the Nara period the Buddhist priest Gyoki, who went on a pilgrimage to various countries, reported the scenic beauty of this place to Emperor Shomu, and the temple was founded by the Brahmin priest Bodhisena. The temple had no parishioners, but was supported by influential figures of the time from the Fujiwara regency clan, the Oshu Fujiwara clan, the Sagae Sodai clan, the Yamagata Castle lords of the Mogami clan, and the Edo government. During the Edo period, the temple received over 2,800 koku of rice from the shogunate and became the largest temple in Tohoku. The Buddhist Hoso sect of Nara came, as well as the Tendai and Shingon sects of Heian Buddhism, and it is now a mountain temple of both the Tendai and Shingon sects. Within the grounds of the temple, there is the main hall (an Important Cultural Property), a three-story pagoda, and the Yakushido hall, all of which solemnly mark the passage of time. The Buddhist statues from the Heian and Kamakura periods have been designated as Important Cultural Properties as treasures of Buddhist art in Japan. In addition, the Jionji Bugaku music and dance performed on May 5th has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. In October 2014, the area including the former grounds of Jionji Temple was designated as a National Historic Site.

A thematic journey in the Tohoku region:Okuno Hosomichi・The History of Michinoku

General Information

700 yen
Opening Times
15 minutes by car from the Sagae IC on the Yamagata Expressway
8 minutes by car from Roadside Rest Area Sagae Cherry Land
15 minutes by car from JR Sagae Station
Car Park
Official Website
Honzan Jionji Temple Official Site
Honzan Jionji Temple Youtube channel
60 minutes


Honzan Jionji Temple
Telephone Number