There are many temples in Yamagata prefecture in northern Honshu but probably Risshakuji, known as Yamadera is the most famous temple in Yamagata. Yamadera literally means mountain temple and it is located on the cliff.
It is told that Ennin, a priest of the Tendai school of Buddhism established Risshakuji temple in 860. The temple was damaged and destroyed during a battle between allied forces of the monk soldiers and Date clan against samurai warlord Yorinaga Tendo in 1521.
Risshakuji temple can be easily reached on foot from Yamadera station on JR Senzan line which connects Sendai and Yamagata. From Tokyo, take Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai station or Yamagata Shinkansen to Yamagata and change to Senzan line.