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Trip to Yamagata

Trip to visit Sokushinbutsu (self-mummified monks) of Yamagata

Trip to visit Sokushinbutsu (self-mummified monks)

There used to be monks
who voluntarily underwent severe ascetic practices
and finally became self-mummified alive
in a stone chamber built underground,
wishing tranquility of the world.

Lots of Sokushinbutsu still exist in Yamagata Prefecture
while only a few can be found even nationwide.
Here are six temples
where Sokushinbutsu is on exhibit:

Living body Buddha map

Sakata-shi

Temple Name Highlight / Hours Access Contact
Kaikoji
Kaikoji
  • Sokushinbutsu Chukai-shonin, Enmyokai-shonin
  • [Hours]
  • From 9:00 to 17:00 (from April to October)
  • From 9:00 to 16:00 (from November to March)
  • [Closed] Every Tuesday and January 1-3
  • ※Need to contact beforehand
  • From JR Sakata Station: 6 min by car
  • From JR Sakata Station: 5-min by bus to "Kotobuki-machi" stop, then 5-min walk
0234-22-4264

Tsuruoka-shi

Temple Name Highlight / Hours Access Contact
Nangakuji
Nangakuji
  • Sokushinbutsu Tetsuryukai-shonin
  • [Hours] From 8:30 to 16:00
  • [Closed] On January 2, it is May 13
  • ※Need to contact beforehand
  • From JR Tsuruoka Station: 15 min by bus to “Nangaku-ji” stop
  • From Tsuruoka Interchange of Yamagata Expressway: 5 min by car
0235-23-5054
Hommyoji
Honmyoji
  • Sokushinbutsu Honmyo-shonin
    the oldest Sokushinbutsu in Shonai area
  • ※Need to contact beforehand
  • From JR Tsuruoka Station: 30 min by bus to “Azuma-bashi” stop, then 15-min walk
  • From Shonai Asahi Interchange of Yamagata Expressway:
    5 min by car
0235-53-2269
Churenji
Churenji
  • Sokushinbutsu Tetsumonkai-shonin
  • [Hours] 
  • From 9:00 to 17:00 (from May to October)
  • From 10:00 to 16:00 (from November to April)
  • From JR Tsuruoka Station: 40 min by bus to “Oami” stop, then 25-min walk
  • From Shonai Asahi Interchange of Yamagata Expressway: 15 min by car
0235-54-6536
Dainichibo
Dainichibo
  • Sokushinbutsu Shinnyokai-shonin
  • [Hours] From 8:00 to 17:00
  • From JR Tsuruoka Station: 40 min by bus to “Oami” stop, then 7-min walk
    From Shonai Asahi Interchange of Yamagata Expressway: 15 min by car
0235-54-6301

Shirataka-machi

Temple Name Highlight / Hours Access Contact
Zokoin
Zoko-in
  • Sokushinbutsu Komyo-shonin
  • Sokushin-butsu discovered in 1978 and highly valuable for scholarly study
  • ※Need to contact beforehand
  • From Ayukai Station of Shirataka-machi Flower-Nagai Line:
    20 min by car
Shirataka-cho Tourist Association 0238-86-0086

2016.10.20:
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