Meet Your Master: Special Tour in March 2020

Learn how to master your ‘self’ with this fusion of three unique Megurun Experiences in one special tour for the first time.

Experience Outline

Only by taking your ‘self’ out of the equation can you truly become your own master. Let us take you on an experience of self-discovery and self-mastery.

Experience Details

At the heart of this unique three day experience, is an invitation for you to explore the concept of Zen in active and diverse ways. In the temple, the mountains, and the dojo, you will encounter ancient traditions and meet those who keep these practices alive in their everyday life. You will learn from and practice alongside the Zen monks at Zenpoji Temple, the Yamabushi of Mount Haguro, and a Budo Master of Kyudo, Japanese archery. Though distinct in their own traditions, they share a common approach to self-discipline, to the death of the ego and the release of the “self.” Mr. Shinozaki, Master of Zen at Zenpoji, speaks of his own multidisciplinary Zen practice; “I have been practicing archery for 18 years. I became a Zen monk because, as fate would have it, my Kyudo teacher also practiced Zazen meditation. With the mantra “if you practice Kyudo, practice Zazen,” I went on to attend the Zen temple and proceed along the path of Buddhism. At first glance, Kyudo and Zazen look very different, but in fact they are deeply connected, so I encourage you to experience both worlds.”

The first chapter takes place at one of the most richly historied Zen temples in Japan, Zenpoji. Monks come from across Japan to train here, and on this day, you come to learn the essentials of a Zen life and the practice of seated meditation (Zazen). You will be guided in mindful sessions of calligraphy, lunch service, temple prayer service, and Zazen training.

On the second day, you come to Mount Haguro, where the mountain itself is text and teacher for the Yamabushi. Outdoors, in this dramatic and sacred winter landscape, you lose yourself in the natural world around you. Following in the footsteps of more than a millennia of Yamabushi, your snowshoe pilgrimage will take you to the top of the mountain, into the majestic grounds of the Dewa Sanzan Shrine. Here, where the mountain deities are enshrined, you are guided through the traditional worship rituals and a shojin ryouri (ascetic cuisine) meal, all locally sourced and foraged on or near the mountain, as it has been for centuries. The final chapter of your Zen exploration will be guided by a Master of the art of Kyudo, which is often referred to as “standing Zen.” This complex martial art requires both a focus and a freedom of the mind, as well as some technical skills, with the ultimate goal of becoming strong in order to avoid fighting at all. Samurai traditionally trained in this way, releasing the ego to become strong in spirit, overcoming enemies without resorting to confrontation.

Between the main activities, you will enjoy the fine food culture Tsuruoka City has to offer as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Dinner on the first evening will be at Naa, an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant attached to the farm which was the first in the region to move to organic agriculture in the late nineteen-sixties. On the second evening, dinner will be at your hotel’s flagship Irodori restaurant, which champions the finest local produce and culinary traditions from the Shonai Plains, surrounding Tsuruoka City. We also recommend you experience the local hot spring bathing culture, and take a relaxing, mindful soak at the Yamabushi Onsen, Yupoka, after your Mount Haguro trekking experience. The final day of the program will end with lunch at the Foodever food hall near Tsuruoka Station, where you can choose from the range of local cuisines brought together under one roof. For more details on this special all-inclusive three-day Experience, please see below or make an enquiry. We look forward to welcoming and guiding you on your unique Zen journey.


3 days, from 10am on March 15th to 2:30pm on March 17th


This special tour is all-inclusive: two nights’ accommodation at Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse with breakfast, all transportation, lunch on all three days, unique local dining experiences for both evening meals, and all applicable fees and rental charges.


Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse offers secluded residence that’ll feel like home. Enjoy sumptuous meals alongside sprawling rice fields, and bask in warm lighting that livens the timber and bamboo presentation.

Our sincerest gratitude to the world-class Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrasse, whose vital contribution has made this tour possible.


Special Tour from March 15th to 17th, 2020 only.

Local Advice

March is still cold here in Yamagata, so be sure to bring plenty of layers, including warm gloves and socks, and a warm outdoor jacket for snowshoe trekking with the Yamabushi at Mount Haguro.

Minimum Participants

This tour will go ahead with at least two participants. Enquire for more information.


¥112,000 per person


Mr. Shinozaki, Mr. Ootomo, Mt.Ueno – Zenpoji

Mr. Kazuhiro Hayasaka – Snow Trekking

Mr. Akino – Kyudo


The experience will be conducted completely in English. An interpreter will accompany you whenever necessary.


The cancellation policy can be found here.

Health and Safety

Your health and safety is our first priority. If you have any concerns, please be sure to let us know.

Meeting Spot

Getting Here

We can help organize your transport to JR Tsuruoka Station. Enquire for more information.

Meeting Spot

JR Tsuruoka Station

Finishing Spot

JR Tsuruoka Station

Closing date

February 20th 2019

Other Megurun Experiences

Yamabushido Programs 

Trek with Yamabushi: Winter in Haguro 

Zen at Zenpoji 



Yabase, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan

Get in touch

Please contact us using the form below

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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.