Mt. Houraiji 鳳来寺山 (Aichi Prefecture)


Houraiji is an ancient temple that was founded somewhere around 700 AD. It was secluded in the mountains and became a place for serious aesetics to learn about esoteric Buddhism. Because of its heritage of being an important Buddist temple, the surrounding forest was not destroyed in the great purge of forests conducted by the Japanese government. It is a rare example of ancient trees. It is very biodiverse which is a great change from the usual monoculture of trees you find on Japanese mountains.

Heritage Sites
Maximum Elevation

Getting there

There are two trailheads for Horaijisan: Horaiji parkway and the Horaiji nautral science museum. 

I haven't personally done the parkway, so I will detail the natural science museum. 


Note that you cannot park at the museum as it is for visitors of the museum only. There are two other carparks designated for hikers. The first is a large free carpark before the museum and the other is a smaller paid parking after the museum. The paid carpark is the one closest to the trailhead. Pick your poison. From whichever carpark you chose, the trailhead is at the end of the road. Keep following it until you see an ancient forest with large stone stairs. 



There are limited buses that leave from Shinshiro station (with a connecting bus) that will take you to Horaiji. Just be warned that it may be very inconvenient. 





Route/Trail notes

The first half of the hike is stone stairs. To ascend to the main temple building, you have to ascend approximately 1500 stone steps. This will take you through a lush ancient forest and past some historical sites. You will also pass through a lovely red gate. 

Once you have reached the main prayer hall, continue past, looking out for signs that say 山頂, note there are signs written in English. This will take you on a forested path. From here, it is about 40 minutes to the summit. Continue following the straight path, up metallic steps and across the forest bed until you reach the summit. 

The summit offers no views. The best views are along the track and at the main prayer hall. Keep a lookout for openings in the trees as this is where you will get some cool beans views. 

Follow same path down. 


If using paid parking, 500 yen.

Other References

How can I find more info? Any guide books?

GPS Tracks


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