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Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District

In Brief: Explore the bustling temple fair, and then climb the steep steps to reach the temples atop Yaji Mountain.

People walking toward the entrance of Yajishan Temple, with the temples seen on the mountain in the background

One of the lower entrances to the Yajishan temples, with the temples seen on the mountain in the background.

Key information

  • 3–4 hours of hiking over approx. 9km.

There are a lot of steep stairs to climb to get to the temples at the top.

The three temples at Yajishan are locally famous, and every year there is a big temple fair.

The temple fair at Yajishan

A Buddhist fortune-teller at the fair
A Buddhist fortune-teller at the fair. (Click for larger image)

Every year there is a fair in the village below the mountain, and it's a lively and busy time to visit. We'll have time to get a good look at what's going on – fortune telling, street food and snacks, fireworks and incense burning, and various performers.

Take a look at the trip reports and photos at the end of the page to see what was happening at the fair on previous visits – very entertaining!

The temples at Yajishan

Burning incense in one of the temples on the way up Yaji Mountain
Burning incense in one of the temples on the way up the mountain. (Click for larger image)

The first temple is at the foot of the mountain and was originally built in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD). This temple was destroyed by the Japanese army during the war, and since been rebuilt.

There are another two temples at the top of the mountain - one built during the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), and the other built during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911 AD). Both of these temples had to be rebuilt after the war as well.

The Qing Dynasty temple has quite an interesting story. It was used by Qing royalty, and the funds for its construction were raised by an old lady who lived in the nearby area. The old lady also helped out in the construction of the temple. There is a shrine to her in the temple, as well as records of visits by Qing Emperors.

Part of the diorama representing Taoist hell
Part of the diorama representing Taoist hell. (Click for larger image)

In one of the temples on the way up, there are two side halls with dioramas of Daoist hell, complete with horse-headed guards carrying axes and models that depict the several hundred ways that you will be tortured if you are not a good Daoist. If you're in more information about this sort of gruesomeness, take a look at the Wikipedia entry for the Daoist Realm of the Dead.

Yaji Mountain is named for its similarity to a hairstyle that was popular for young girls a long time ago. If you see the mountain from the right angle (and use a little imagination) you will be able to see the resemblance – think of the mountain as the head, and the two temples at the top of the mountain as the two cute pigtails sticking out from either side.

The temples atop the mountain, seen from the back trail
The temples atop the mountain, seen from the back trail. (Click for larger image)

After we've looked about the temples, we'll follow an old trail that will take us around the back of the mountain, walking a path that winds through the peaks. We'll stop for a break at a nice lookout point and then follow steps down past the hotel and out on to the flat land at the foot of the mountain.

We'll have lunch at a local restaurant, and then you'll have another thirty minutes of free time to take another look around the stalls and streets

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • The climb up to the temples is rather steep, making it a fairly tough climb with a lot of steep stairs!

More photos

The temple fair

A vendor at the fair
A vendor at the fair. (Click for larger image)
A fortune-teller at the fair
A fortune-teller at the fair. (Click for larger image)
A Taoist fortune-teller at the fair
A Taoist fortune-teller at the fair. (Click for larger image)
Lanterns line a path
Lanterns line a path. (Click for larger image)
Playing the pipa by the streetside
Playing the pipa by the streetside. (Click for larger image)

The temples and hiking trail

Part of the diorama representing Taoist hell
Part of the diorama representing Taoist hell. (Click for larger image)
The view from the temples at the top of Yaji Mountain
The view from the temples at the top of Yaji Mountain. (Click for larger image)
The temples atop the mountain, seen from the back trail
The temples atop the mountain, seen from the back trail. (Click for larger image)
The temples in the distance, seen from 'Yellow Flower Top'
The temples in the distance, seen from 'Yellow Flower Top'. (Click for larger image)

There are risks involved in hiking. Please read our Risk Acknowledgment and Waiver and inform yourself before participating.

Level3

Level of difficulty

Level 3 hikes are the type we do most often. Level 3 hikes will take around 3 hours, and can be either reasonably easy, or challenging, depending on how often you exercise.

Is the level of difficulty suitable for me?

Hike statistics

  • Distance: 9km
  • Time to complete: 3–4 hours
  • Total ascent: 544m
  • Total descent: 540m
  • Start height: 83m
  • Peak: 429m
  • Finish height: 87m
  • Location: Pinggu
  • Drive time: 2 hours each way

Hikes in Beijing

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If you're interested in hikes and trips during a month that's not yet listed, use our contact form to let us know and we'll send you a quick email when the schedule is online.

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