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Oyama-dera Temple

Oyama-dera Temple

Isehara

This temple is famous for its beautiful autumn leaves. It is designated a National Cultural Property.

Travel tip

Observe the autumn leaves along the temple’s tree-lined steps or ride the cable car to the summit for spectacular aerial views. For a different perspective, visit the temple at night when the autumn colors and grounds are illuminated.

Oyama-dera Temple is the lower temple to the head office of Oyama-Afuri Shrine, both of which are located on Mount Oyama. The mountain, also known as Afuri-yama (or “rainfall mountain”) has long been regarded as a holy mountain and object of worship. Indeed, since ancient times it was believed that praying to Mount Oyama would bring rains.

Built in 755, Oyama-dera Temple was founded by the monk Roben. There are two guardian statues present, along with a statue of Fudo-Myoo, the immovable wisdom king. All three are listed as Important Cultural Properties. Nearby, sacred grounds can be found for an earthenware-throwing rite called 'Kawarake-nage.' In the Edo period, the temple was a famous pilgrimage spot for people coming from Tokyo and Kanagawa.

A part of the Shingon Buddhist sect, Oyama-dera Temple also has an iron-built statue of Buddha, unusual for the time period when statues were usually made of copper or wood. For an additional fee, visitors can travel deeper into the temple and view the magnificent statue, but only on the 8th, 18th or 28th of each month. This particular tradition relates to the Japanese superstition of 8 being a holy number. These aren’t the only statues to be enjoyed, however. Statues of all shapes and sizes can be found across the mountain temple complex, many of which are old and quite unique to the temple.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes when visiting. Though the temple is near the base of the mountain, don’t expect an easy walk. The hike up to the main temple building of Oyama has a lot of stairs. Autumn is a popular time to visit, when all the trees leading up to the temple and mountain are crimson and gold — perfect for photographs.

The area surrounding Oyama-dera is noted for its traditional crafts and food. Koma, or spinning tops, are the traditional craft of Oyama and you’ll see them on the ground tiles as you walk to the temple, as well as in stalls along the way. Also not to be overlooked are the konjac jelly shops. Mount Oyama provides fresh, pure water and this makes for great food production, especially konjac jelly and konjac. Both are a healthy and tasty addition to any meal and the mountain’s eateries offer the perfect chance to try some at the source.

To reach Oyama-dera, first make your way to Isehara Station on the Odakyu Odawara Line. From Isehara Station, board the Kanagawa Chuo bus for Oyama Cable Car. It’s a 15-minute walk to the Oyama Cable Station, where you board a cable car for Oyama-dera Station. From Oyama-dera station, the temple is only a 2-minute walk.

Essential Information

Hours

9:00 - 17:00

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), various facilities may change their operating days or hours. Check the official website for the latest information.
Suggested duration

1h

Closed No closed days
Costs

Viewing of the main temple (¥400)

Access

Odakyu Odawara Line, Isehara Station → Bus bound for Oyama Cable → On foot (15 minutes) → Oyama Cable Car (20 minutes) → Alight at Oyama Temple station

Facilities
  • Wheelchair friendly

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