Sitting atop Mt. Ichibata in the Hirata area of Izumo, the spacious grounds of Ichibata Yakushi provide a spectacular view of Lake Shinji and the surrounding area. This temple traces its origins back to the year 894 when a local fisherman pulled in a statue of Yakushi Nyorai with his catch and enshrined it on the mountain where the temple now sits.
Yakushi Nyorai is the Buddhist deity of healing and medicine, and the statue enshrined here is said to be particularly helpful with ailments of the eyes. Every year, 700,000 worshippers come from around the country to pray here. Being a Zen denomination temple, you can experience zazen meditation here, as well as the tea ceremony and shōjin ryōri, Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. When visiting Ichibata Yakushi, you can catch a bus from the nearby Ichibataguchi Station that will take you up the mountain, or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can try the stairs from the bottom of the mountain, all 1,300 of them!