Horaiji Temple

Travel Information

Horaiji Temple (鳳来寺) is one of the oldest and popular temple located in eastern Aichi Prefecture. The entire mountain of Mt. Horaiji is a temple. Therefore, it is also very popular hiking spots as well. There are 1,425 stone stairs to reach the main temple. On the stairs, there are many ruins of old temples that has great stone walls like a Japanese castle. This temple was established in the early 8th century and had been highly respected by many people. From the top of the mountain, you can see the great view of the eastern Aichi prefecture.

Tourist Info.
There are parking and restroom.

0. at Toyohashi Station.
1. use JR Iida Line Honnagashino Station.
2. use a local bus to Horaijisan.

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Map around Horaiji Temple

Detailed Travel Guide

Horaiji Temple
Mt. Horaiji is 695m above the sea level, while the actual height of the mountain from its base to the top is about 475m. Horaiji temple is situated at 450m.

The stairs consist of 1,425 stone steps ascending from the foot of the mountain, and is considered to be one of the largest mountain staircases in Japan. The current shape of Mt. Horaiji was formed through a combination of volcanic eruptions that occurred about 14 million years ago and the process of erosion that followed.

The geological features of the mountain can be characterized as lava that solidified into rock and volcanic ash. Its unique mystic landscape with its series of steep cliffs - one of which is symbolically called Kagamiiwa, or the mirror rock has been captivating people's hearts since ancient times.

Eventually, Horaiji temple was constructed in 703. During the Heian Period, Mt. Horaiji became a scared location mainly for the practitioners of the Shingon and Tendai sects of Buddhism who wished to acquire Buddhist esoteric teachings by dwelling deep in the mountain.

Later during the medieval period, lay people of the samurai class and many commoners began worshiping at this location to pray for health and safety from the main statue of the temple, Yakushi Nyorai, otherwise known as the Medicine Tathagate. Supported by the growing population of worshippers, Horaiji temple became most prosperous during the Edo period.

In 1969, Mt. Horaiji was designated as one of the national parks in the Tenryu-Okumikawa region for its rich diversity of flora and fauna - long protected by the Buddhist principle of non-killing, which is carved on the stone tablet placed at the entrance of the mountain.

Nihomon Gate
Registered national important cultural assets. Constructed in 1651 by 3rd Tokugawa Shogun Iemitsu.