Yajishan Daoist Temples

Make the short-but-steep climb to the top of Yaji Mountain, stopping along the way to explore the various temples and shrines on the way to the top.

Level 2+
2–3 hours start to finish over 6km (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

Contact us for schedule updates or set up a private hike

A view of a temple high on a hill, with mountains behind
A view from the top of Yaji Mountain.

There are quite a few steep stairs to climb to get to the temples at the top.

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.

The temples here are a popular religious attraction for people in the Pinggu district. It is quite common to see people burning incense, and sometimes it’s possible to see a full religious ceremony.

A model of Daoist hell

One of the scenes from the Daoist hell dioramas.

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. As it’s Halloween today, we think that the models of Daoist hell are appropriately gruesome!

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. Before we head down from the temples, we’ll take a little walk up a hill trail behind the temples to get a good look at this.

What to bring on this hike

Reasons you might not enjoy this hike

  • The stairs up to the temple on top are rather steep, making it a fairly tough climb!
  • This is a rather short hike, and we aim to take our time looking about rather than getting exercise.

Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.

In particular:

  • DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was.
  • DO NOT participate if you have not completed any required quarantine after your return to Beijing.
  • You MUST agree to the mitigation and prevention measures outlined here and that Beijing Hikers will not be held responsible if any participants become sick.

Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Yajishan Daoist Temples

  1. Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District, 2019/05/12

    Yajishan Temple Fair, Pinggu District, 2019/05/12

    We visited Yajishan for a hike and a look at the temple fair—the fun of the temple fair was dampened by a bit of rain, and the hike took us through an area recently burned in a wildfire. See a set of 17 photos.

See all the hikes  In the calendar / in a list