The Yakuoji Temple was founded between 1261-1262. The sacred object of the temple (called “goshintai” in Japanese) is of Yakushi Nyorai (Bhaisajyaguru; the Buddha of healing and medicine), which was made by a monk named Saicho. Since its creation, the temple has survived a long history of over 750 years. Within the temple’s extensive history, it had a strong connection with Tokugawa Ieyasu.
After his death, his body was transferred to Nikko; a trip that took 19 days to complete. It is recorded that on his way to Nikko, his body was held at the Yakuoji Temple for four days in order to hold a magnificent Buddhist memorial in his honor. No one is sure of why it was held at this specific temple. While the story remains a mystery, it acknowledges that Tokugawa Ieyasu had great respect for the temple, whether it is recorded or not.