Explore the Ancient Forest of Mt. Haguro

Yamagata Prefecture

Wander through the ancient cedar forest along 2,446 stone steps on what is known as “the mountain of the present”.

 Mt. Haguro is one of the Dewa Sanzan, a group of three holy mountains that have been the site of an ancient pilgrimage known as the journey of rebirth since they were first enshrined over 1,400 years ago. 

During this tour, we will explore the history and mysteries of this sacred land and make our way up to the top of this mountain where we will make a prayer at the Dewa Sanzan Shrine and dine on traditional Shojin Ryori, the traditional cuisine of the Yamabushi monks who continue to train on the Dewa Sanzan to this day. 

This experience is led by Derek Yamashita, who has climbed this mountain over a hundred times and presented about the rich history of the Dewa Sanzan and the Yamabushi on NHK World.  

A special two-day Yamabushi training program is also available here.  
This program is led by Derek and Yamabushi monks on Mt. Haguro.

Experience Mt. Haguro

What's Included

Walk up the ancient stone trail up Mt. Haguro.
Explore an ancient and serene cedar forest with trees up to 1,000 years old.
See the Five-story Pagoda in the dense forest.
Make a prayer at the Sanjin Gosaiden Shrine.
Dine on shojin ryori in a temple restaurant.
Return down the mountain or take a bus back to the base.

Cost

from 10,000 yen per person

Experience Availability

All-year round 

Average Duration

Approximately 3 hours

Meeting Location

The Zuishinmon Gate
Haguromachi Touge, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0211

Minimum amount of participants

2 people

Important notes

Hiking may be limited in the winter due to heavy snow.
Participants should be in good health to climb to the top. Those with difficulty climbing the mountain can opt for a bus ride instead.
Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.

Experience Mt. Haguro

At 414m (1358 ft), Mt. Haguro is a low-lying mountain that is by far the most accessible of the Dewa Sanzan both in terms of accessibility and hiking time. It is easily climbable by anyone in good health and also, has buses that can take you up and down from the peak for those wishing to skip the climb.

We will start our experience right in-front of the Zuishinmon Gate at the base of Mt. Haguro.

From here, we will stop along the trail to see the many landmarks along this trail and learn about the many Yamabushi rituals that have taken place for over a thousand years on this mountain. This includes the Five-story Pagoda of Mt. Haguro, which has been designated as a national treasure of Japan, that was built over 600 years ago. This pagoda is unique for its bare wood structure that stands in the middle of towering cedar trees instead of on temple grounds, as is usual in Japan.

As we continue up the mountain, we will pass through towering lines of cedar trees that are 300-600 years old and take in the silence and serenity of this mountain. During the summer and fall, there is also a teahouse mid-way up this trail where we can stop and take in the views of the Shonai Plains from its outlook.

Reaching the top of this mountain, we will visit the Sanjin Gosaiden Shrine, which enshrines all three of the Dewa Sanzan mountains and explore the temple grounds.

We will then make our way to Saikan, a temple restaurant first built in 1689 that now has lodging and meals available for visitors to Mt. Haguro. Here we will try Shojin Ryori, the ascetic cuisine of the Yamabushi monks that was developed as part of their training which could last for months as they isolated themselves in these mountains.

Following our meal we will make our way back down the mountain and finish the tour.

Reserve your Mt Haguro tour today!

You can send a booking inquiry for your experience below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm the booking with our partners and send you a booking confirmation email at least 3 days before your desired date.
Please note this form does not confirm the availability of an experience or reserves an experience straightaway.

Cancelation policy

Our general cancelation policy for our experiences is below. Cancelation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.

3 days before

Free

2 days before

30% of experience cost

Day before

50% of experience cost

Day of

100% of experience cost