Yamadera mountain area

Yamadera  is just 1 h away from Sendai or 20 minuts from Yamagata Station by local tran in Tohoku. Just a few minutes walk from the station is the large temple complex of "Yamadera". The temple complex extends high on a steep mountain slope from where you have a wonderful view down to the valley.
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During the early Heian period (794-1185) one of the most important Buddhist priests of the country to the border region of Tohoku. That priest founded the temple Yamadera. In addition, the famous poet Basho, who wrote one of his popular Haiku, visited Yamadera. Nowadays a statue of the poet as well as his written haiku is chased in a stone right at the entrance of the shrine grounds.
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The temple itself is very large and spacious. You have to climb a total of 1000 steps to view all buildings in the mountains. While going up, you will walk through a very nice forest with very huge trees. Also during the summertimme you can find many beautiful hydrangea on the rocks.
The best view is from the Gaido Hall, which has a nice old wooden viewing platform. From there you have a lovely view to the mountains as well as over the nearby village. If you're lucky, you can even see the train running through the mountains. Especially early in the morning or when it is raining the mountains are very beautiful. Usually the clouds are standing very deep then and you can see only the top of the moutains. It looks like an island in the sky!
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Since the place is very popular around tourists, you should go early in the morning to visit the temples, otherwise it can be quite crowded.
After visiting the temple, you can walk around all the souveniershops, which are on the way back to the station. Also there are many nice sobarestaurants, which often have an english menu. 

Kerstin Yamane