MI­TOKU­SAN SAN­BUT­SUJI TEM­PLE

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The thickly forested slopes of Mt. Mi­toku – a 900- me­ter- high peak about an hour’s drive from Tot­tori city – are home to the Bud­dhist tem­ple of Mi­toku­san San­but­suji. The se­cluded sanc­tu­ary is best known for Nageire- do, a seem­ingly grav­ity- de­fy­ing hall that was built into a de­pres­sion on a ver­ti­cal cliff face. Des­ig­nated as a Na­tional Treasure of Ja­pan, its ori­gins are cloaked in leg­end, though some ex­perts have dated Nageire- do to the Heian pe­riod, with 849 be­ing put for­ward as its es­ti­mated year of com­ple­tion. Fit, ad­ven­ture- minded trav­el­ers can see the struc­ture up close by climb­ing a dif­fi­cult moun­tain path, though it’s also vis­i­ble from a much more ac­ces­si­ble ob­ser­va­tion point. Nearby Misasa Onsen is classed as a Ja­panese her­itage site along­side Mt. Mi­toku for its ra­dium- rich hot springs.

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