Not only is Nageiredo Hall designated a national heritage but it is a leading architectural wooden masterpiece in Japan. It previously housed 7 wooden standing statues of Zao Gongen (Buddha Zao) which are Nationally Important Cultural Properties.
It is said that in 706, Enno Gyoja arrived at this mountain on a white cloud, formed a sacred crevice and threw (nagé iré) the hall into the cliff using his magical powers; hence the name “Nageiredo”.
This hall is a symbol of Buddhist mountain worship. The challenging sheer height of the cliff, the harmonious raised floor type (kakezukuri) structures in the crevice and the defying construction method of the stilts make it an exceptional architecture like no other.
Japanese ancient Shinto philosophies are deeply rooted here as the structures are said to represent “coexistence with nature”, giving a lasting impression on visitors.
Officially, the closer structure is called “Zao Shrine” and the farther structure is called “Aizen-do Hall”. Looking at the architectural style and growth ring dating, it is clear that these are late Heian Period structures. They are a national treasure as late Heian Period wood is used to this day.
* Shugendo is mountain worship in Japan.