A few days after coming back to Japan from Gilroy, we were back traveling south to Miyagi and Yamagata Prefectures. Yamadera, which literally means "mountain temple," is located conveniently off the Senzan Train Line which connects the cities of Sendai and Yamagata. The temple complex was built into the face of the mountains and can be seen immediately from the loading platform after getting off the train. Many people stopped, got out their phones and started snapping photos of the mountain side right after getting off, leaving a traffic jam as the small station only has one route on and off the loading platform.
The vibrant colors of the fall were coming in, though the area was about a week or two early from being fully covered in oranges, yellows and reds. However there were great spots for seeing changes of color once we started our way up the mountain. The trek up consisted of sessions of flights of stairs, exactly 1,000 steps to the top, with plenty of spots to stop, rest and continue upward.