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Ishiyama Dera The Temple of Inspiration

Updated: Jan 29

Ishiyama Temple Access滋賀県大津市石山寺1丁目1-1

Translated Address: Shiga Prefecture Otsu City Ishiyama Dera 1 Chome 1-1

Access: 京阪石山坂本線 石山寺駅 Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Sen get off at Ishiyama Dera Station, Its a 11 minute walk along the Seta River

Admissions Fee: 600 Yen

Parking Fee: 600 Yen for the day

Hours of operation: 8 am to 4:30 pm

Ishiyama Temple The temple of Inspiration

Ishiyama Dera is a mountain temple overlooking Seta river just south of Lake Biwa in Otsu city. This historical temple is full of history, lush green forests, sacred rock formations, and beautiful pagodas. A great place to ignite ones creative imagination with inspiration as it did for famous writer 1,000 years before at the height of the Heian period.

In the light of the full Moon Murasaki Shikibu was praying to the deity of compassion when she looked down and saw the beauty of the Moon’s reflection on lake Biwa, as she looked upon the lake the beauty of the moon light lite her creative imagination with this inspiration. She wrote one of the first novels ever created, the Tale of Genji.


This is the Eastern Entrance and the Main Entrance of Ishiyama Temple

鐘楼 しょうろう Bell tower

Bell Tower at Ishiyama Dera

Looking down on the sacred stones and the main temple of Ishiyama Dera.

多宝塔 たほうとう Tahoutou

Looking up at the Tahoutou Which is Ishiyama Temple's two storied pagoda.

Sacred Stones of Ishiyama Temple

椿 つばき Tsubaki

Tsubaki at Ishiyama Temple

瀬田川 せたがわ Setagawa

Overlooking the Seta River. This river flows into Lake Biwa.

Interesting fact:

The Seta River has 3 different names.

Famous name is Yodo River, which most people who live in Osaka or Kyoto will be familiar with. It is called the Yodo River in Osaka Fu and Kyoto city.

As it flows through Uji city the Yodo River becomes the Uji River.

As the Uji river flows North and East ward through the hills and forests of Kyoto fu it enters Shiga Perfecture when it becomes the Seta River. The Seta river flows through southern Shiga and then ends at Lake Biwa.

八大龍王社  Dai Ryou Oshya Shrine. This shrine is located in the forests of Ishiyama temple.

A great place to light the fire of your creativity

This is a great place to visit for writers and people who are looking for any kind of inspiration. Connecting with the environment of Ishiyama Temple might be the place to open up your creative imagination just as Murasaki Shikibu did over a thousand years ago.

Ishiyama temple is also nice to visit for families or anyone who enjoys easy hikes and being in nature.

Information if you are going to visit Ishiyama Temple

Historical Markers and Translation:

There are many historical markers and points of interest all over the Ishiyama Temple but most are only written in Japanese with very few translated into English. If you can't read Japanese it might be difficult to grasp the history of the temple. Maps around the Temple for the most part translated in English. There is also an English map available at the admissions counter.

Restaurants Vending Machines

Outside the temple there are a few soba, udon, washoku restaurants, and some food stalls around the shrine. If you are coming by car the parking attendant will hand you a pamphlet in Japanese about restaurants around the temple. There are a few Vending machines also outside the shrine to buy water or other beverages before you enter.


Bring water or tea. I wouldn't eat inside the temple unless you really need to replenish your energy. If you do bring a small snack like a rice ball, candy, or soy joy for energy. Good walking shoes are probably needed. Do not bring nice shoes because most places you will be waking on are unpaved foot paths, stairs, and on gravel. Be prepared to walk up stairs. Though the stair cases are not really so high it could be a difficulty if your taking a stroller or if you do not like walking up stairs.

Babies and Children

I have a baby daughter and my wife and I enjoy talking her on walks and family outings.

I would not recommend taking a baby under 9 months since it would be a challenge with changing dippers, finding places to nurse your baby, and the amount of important essentials infants need when going on a family outing. If you do want to enjoy a beautiful day out with the family and you have a baby it would be better to use a sling and prepared bottles for your baby. There are benches where you can sit down and take rests.

Ishiyama Temple is a lot of fun for children who like to take walks, discover new things, and enjoy nature. When I come here there are always a lot of families visiting the Temple.

近江八景 おうみはっけ Oumi Hakke

Ishiyama Temple is part of the Oumi Hakke. Oumi Hakke is the Eight Picturesque Views of Oumi.

The 8 Picturesque View of Oumi:

  1. 石山寺 いしやまでら Ishiyama Temple

  2. 瀬田唐橋 せたからはし Seta kara Hashi (Located in Walking distince of JR Ishiyama Station).

  3. 粟津ヶ原 Owazugehara

  4. 矢橋 やばせ Yabase

  5. 三井寺 みついでら Mitsui Dera

  6. 唐崎神社 からさきじんじゃ Karasaki Jinja

  7. 浮御堂 うきみどう Ukimidou

  8. 比良山系 ひらさんけい Hira San Kei, Three mountains over 1,000 meters tall overlooking Lake Biwa.

If your interested in the 8 views of Oumi I will write more about Oumi Hakken in a later post.


Easy Access by train from JR Kyoto, Osaka, and other points west.

Train: JR Kyoto Station.

Take the JR Biwako Line (also called the Tokaido Line). Train leaves from Platform 2.

Take the Local or express train to JR Ishiyama Station.

Takes about 15 minutes. Fare is 240 Yen

Osaka Station:

From: JR Osaka Station

Take the Tokaido Line.

Take the Express train from JR Osaka to JR Ishiyama Station.

About 45 to 50 minute ride. Fare is 990 Yen.

Train from Maibara, Omihachiman or Kusatsu and points east

Take the Express Train from either of these stations and get off at Ishiyama Station. From Maibara Station the fare is 990 yen takes about 45 to 50 minutes.

Omihachiman Station the fare is 420 Yen takes about 30 minutes

Kusatsu Station the fare is 200 Yen takes about 10 minutes

When you arrive at Ishiyama Station:

Access from JR Ishiyama Station:

Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line:

Go to the South Exit of Ishiyama Station and make a right and you will see Ishiyama Keihan Station. Take the Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line to Ishiyama Dera Station. Its only two stops by Keihan Train from Ishiyama Station. Costs 170 Yen.


Go to the south exit of Ishiyama Station make a left and you will see an escalator. Go down it and you will be at the Ishiyama Bus station. Line up at Platform 1 and take bus number 52 to Ishiyama Dera. Bus fare is 230 Yen.


If you prefer to walk like I do. The temple its a 30 minute walk from Ishiyama Station.

Copy and paste in this address in google maps:


If you prefer English:

Shiga Perfecture Otsu City Ishiyama Dera 1 Chome 1-1

Route from Ishiyama Dera Station:

Access by car from Anywhere in Japan

Copy and paste in this address in google maps:


If you prefer English:

Shiga Prefecture Otsu City Ishiyama Dera 1 Chome 1-1

Parking fare at the temple is 600 yen for the day

Please Enjoy your visit to Ishiyama Temple and thank you for reading my Post.

Where ever you are or where ever your from in this beautiful world. Enjoy the beauty of life around you. Thank you for reading and have a great day.

Please visit my website, Your Guide to The Kansai and The Hokuriku Region:

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