In 2004, Kinpusenji Temple was designated as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Zao-do Hall the second largest wooden structure in Japan at 34 meters high. The temple is the head branch of the Shugendo religion. Kinpusenji Temple is sacred and is worshipped by many followers. Originally established in the 8th century, the temple was banned in 1874, but later reinstated in 1887 due to a large amount of worship followers wishes. The main building, Zao Hall, houses many Buddhist statues that are available for followers to worship. There three blue skinned statues of Zao Gongen, the fierce looking protector deity of the mountains in Yoshino, that are 1300 years old. It is one of the most important deities in Shugendo, who embodies the past, present, and future Buddha. Kinpusenji Temple has occasional workshops to practice Shugendo, which stress feats of physical and mental endurance in the elements.