Understand the Link Between Onsen and Religion
With a history of more than 1,300 years, Yamanaka Onsen boasts a vibrant and beautiful blend of nature and traditional culture. It is said that the source of hot water was discovered during the Nara era (710-794) by famous priest Gyoki (668-749), who founded Ioji Temple in order to put the hot spring under divine protection. Since then, it has been the custom of onsen visitors, as well as locals, to go to the temple to worship. Located on a steep hill above Yamanaka Onsen, the temple provides panoramic views of the town.