Minobu-san Kuonji Temple
Climb 287 stone steps and you will see beautiful scenery of a historic main hall and cherry trees in full bloom
The temple believed to have been founded by venerable Nichiren in 1274 is the headquarters of the Nichiren Sect of Buddhism. The temple of high rank was supported by politicians and aristocrats and became a prayer temple for the Imperial Family in 1706.
To visit the temple, it is necessary to climb 287 stone steps called bodai-tei. It is said that if you have climbed them to the top, you will attain enlightenment. Entering the grounds, you will see a five-story pagoda poking the sky. The original pagoda was lost by fire but reconstructed in 2009 using the design and construction method of 400 years ago. There are also other precious buildings with anecdotes about Nichiren, including Sanmon gate with kongo-rikishi guardians and a hobutsukan (treasure house).
On the grounds, a 400-year old weeping cherry tree that blooms from late-March to early-Spring together with hundreds of other cherry trees around the temple fascinates many tourists. Impressive 40m-tall Sennen-sugi (1000-year old cedars) are designated as Natural Monument of Yamanashi Prefecture. From Shichimenzan, the inner sanctuary of the temple, you have a great view of everything from Shiraito Falls at the start of the trail to trees and flowers on the mountain. The temple is equipped with a barrier-free path for wheelchairs, an inclined elevator, etc.
Address: 3567 Minobu-cho Minobu, Minamikoma-gun, Yamanashi
Hours open to visitors: 5:00-17:00 (vary depending on the season)
Admission Fee: Free admission to the grounds (300 yen to enter the treasure house)
Closed: Thursdays (treasure house)
Directions: 15 minutes by Yamako Town Coach Bus from Minobu Station on the JR Minobu Line (2 hours and 30 minutes from Nagoya; 2 hours and 40 minutes from Shinjuku Station) to the terminal, Minobu-san bus stop, and 15 minutes by foot to the the temple. (Car) One hour and 40 minutes from Shin-Shimizu Interchange on the Shin-Tomei Expressway.