Trek with Yamabushi: Mount Haguro

Discover Yamabushi culture and the dramatic and sacred landscape in which it has thrived for a thousand years.


Experience Outline

Setting out from a Shukubo (pilgrim lodge) and walking in the holy mountains with a Yamabushi guide is an age-old practice for those seeking spiritual, emotional, and physical refreshment. This “rebirth” in the mountains is a key tenet of Yamabushi Shugendo practices. In this experience you will follow in the footsteps of centuries of Yamabushi and pilgrims who have been coming to Mount Haguro to seek spiritual solace in nature.


Experience Details

Welcomed into Daishinbo Pilgrim Lodge, your Experience begins here, meeting your Yamabushi guide and interpreter. In the tradition of so many pilgrims before you, you will prepare yourself by donning a white robe, called “gyohi”, and creating a sacred boundary around yourself with your “shime”, an ornate paper necklace. Your pilgrimage starts when you leave the lodge and proceed to the mountain’s official entrance gate, Zuishinmon.

Your trek will pass through the gate, and your Yamabushi leader will guide you through the sacred and beautiful sites of Mount Haguro, touching on their spiritual importance as well as pausing for moments of reflection. After reaching the summit you will enter the very sanctuary of the Sanjingosaiden Shrine and participate in a ritual blessing inside. Having completed the pilgrimage from the Shukubo lodge, Daishinbo will present you with an “Ofuda” – the sacred talisman or charm. This is a symbol of your rebirth, a reminder, and a spiritual protection for your daily life. Before descending, you will be welcomed to Saikan, the temple lodge, for a unique lunch introducing you to the full range of traditional, ascetic, Shojin cuisine.The meal is made up of many small dishes, with ingredients foraged and produced locally in line with ancient customs.

This kind of pilgrimage is a popular way for lay-people to engage in Yamabushi practices and reconnect with nature in the sacred mountains of the Dewa Sanzan. In our Experience, we facilitate your participation in this time-honoured, deeply spiritual tradition, with the interpretation and support of our Megurun team. If you are interested in deeper Yamabushi practices, please take a look at our Yamabushido programs in which we facilitate traditional ascetic training with Yamabushi masters.

Grandpa Cedar and the Five Storied Pagoda on Mt. Haguro of the Dewa Sanzan

Duration

09:00-15:00 (six hours)

Includes

Guidance from the Yamabushi of Daishinbo Pilgrim Lodge, Japanese to English interpreter, official shrine donation, and a unique, premium lunch of traditional, ascetic, Shojin Ryori cuisine.

Schedule

April to November

Local Advice

The weather on the mountain can be unpredictable so be sure to bring warm and waterproof layers, and a bottle of water.

Minimum Participants

1

Guides

Kazuhiro Hayasaka

Language

English

Cancellations

The cancellation policy can be found here.

Health and Safety

Participants should be fit and able to walk without problems, to climb and descend moderate slopes and steps unaided. We recommend wearing sturdy trekking/walking shoes. If you do not bring rain gear, you may not be allowed to participate – we will go ahead with the program in light to moderate rain, and if you are not equipped you may endanger your health. Please note that in the case of very heavy rains or typhoon storms, this activity may be cancelled.

Meeting Spot

Getting Here

Transport is not included and the experience starts at Daishinbo Pilgrim lodge which can be accessed by bus from Tsuruoka Station. Get off at Sakura Koji stop, and Daishinbo is a short walk.

Meeting Spot

大進坊, Touge-95 Haguromachi Touge, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0211, Japan

Finishing Spot

大進坊, Touge-95 Haguromachi Touge, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0211, Japan

Prices

Group Size Price Per Person
Two ¥77,000
Three ¥57,000
Four ¥49,000
Five or more ¥45,000

Other Megurun Experiences

Trek with Yamabushi: Winter in Haguro 

Meet Your Master: Special Tour 

The Hidden Path of Zen at Yamadera 

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Yabase, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan

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Megurun aims to support sustainable rural communities. To achieve these aims, we gained a travel agency license registered with the governor of Yamagata Prefecture: Region 282.