Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Circuit

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, and then take a walk through the hills to complete the circuit. Shunyi Pinnacle Plaza pickup.

Level 3
3–4 hours of hiking over approx. 9km. (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

Contact us for schedule updates or set up a private hike

Yajishan | A view of the Yajishan temples, high on a hill
A view of the temples atop Yaji Mountain.

Note: There are quite a few stairs to climb to get to the temples at the top, and they’re a bit steep!

Shunyi Hikers: We’ll be picking up people from the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi for this hike. If you’re not based in Shunyi but fancy a visit to the temples today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.

On this trip we’re going to add a little extra hiking to our usual inspection of the temples at Yajishan, starting with the short-but-steep stair climb to the top of Yaji Mountain. On the way up to the top, we’ll catch our breath by stopping to look about the various temples and shrines either side of the stairs. After a look about the temple right at the top, we’ll take a walk through the hills behind the temples to complete the circuit.

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. Right now only one of them is open to visitors, but it looks very impressive perched on top of a peak.

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.

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.

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.

Shunyi Hikers: We’ll be picking up people from the Starbucks at Pinnacle Plaza in Shunyi for this hike. If you’re not based in Shunyi but fancy a visit to the temples today, we can still make it work – write us a note when you make your booking.

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!
  • The old trail around the back of the mountain was blocked off for a while and hasn’t seen much maintenance recently. It may be overgrown in places, and we may need to skirt what’s left of the fence the construction workers used to block the trail.

In some of the sets of photos linked below you’ll see shots from the temple fair. There won’t be a temple fair during this visit.

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: Shunyi Hikers: Yajishan Temple Circuit

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