Yamadera in the northeastern part of Yamagata City is one of the prominent temples in the Tohoku region, and was founded over a thousand years ago in the year of 860.
The temple grounds extend high up a steep mountainside. Its popular name, Yamadera, literally means "mountain temple" in Japanese.
Everywhere in the vast temple area, you can find rock caves and queerly shaped rocks, eroded by wind and water, as well as many other temple buildings.
The base of the mountain is located about a five minute walk from the Yamadera train station, and there are dozens of shops and restaurants that cater to the temple's many visitors.
There is also a small visitor center just across the bridge along the way from the station to the temple.