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Spiritual 3-day Tour Package in Shonai, Yamagata

Yamagata Prefecture

A 3 Day Retreat Into The Mountains of Yamagata

Immerse yourself in the deep spirituality of Japan on the mountains of the Dewa Sanzan.  Across this 3 day experience you will climb Mt. Haguro of the Dewa Sanzan with Yamabushi mountain priests, stay a grand temple by the ocean with Buddhist monks, and enjoy the traditional geisha culture of Northern Japan in the port city of Sakata. 

This fully arranged experience takes your on an active journey through the Japanese countryside that is ideal for travelers looking to take a deep dive into spirituality and culture of Japan. 

Note that this is a tour that has you moving around to different lodging each night to experience the most of this region and involves activities like hiking. 

Tour at a glance

What's Included

Lodging in traditional pilgrim lodges and buddhist temples in Yamagata.

Guided experiences alongside the monks and priests including eating shojin ryori cuisine.

Knowledgable local guides each day who are a part of the community they guide in.

Full arrangement of transportation and lodging.

On trip support via email or Whatsapp.


Starting from 219,075 yen per person (minimum 2 people)

Experience Availability

All-year round 

Tour Length

3 Days 2 Nights

Meeting Location

The tour starts with an included roundtrip domestic flight into Yamagata Prefecture from Haneda Airport in central Tokyo.

Important notes

Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.
We ask for reservations 3 weeks in advance if possible.  

Customization is available, please let us know if you would like to extend this trip or add in some free days.

Day 1 Journey into the Dewa Sanzan Mountains

Wake up bright and early to begin your journey away from the big city and into the heartland of Japan where centuries of tradition continue to this day. 

This will start with a short morning or afternoon flight from Haneda Airport in central Tokyo into Yamagata Prefecture.

From here you will transfer to the Three Holy Mountains of Dewa (Dewa Sanzan) to a shukubo (traditional mountain lodging of the Yamabushi) mountain monks run by individual families at the base of Mt. Haguro.

After arriving at your lodge, change into the traditional white ‘shirosozoku’ robes of the Yamabushi and join one of the Yamabushi on a trek through the sacred forest of Mt. Haguro along its ancient stone steps up to Dewa Sanzan Shrine at the very top.  

After a delicious meal of ‘Shojinryori’ (traditional shinto cuisine made with ingredients from the mountains) at a temple, make your way back down the mountain and to a beautiful Japanese temple where you can enjoy traditional green tea and wagashi sweets and explore the stunningly beautiful Japanese temples here. 

Spend the night at the shukubo with dinner served by the Yamabushi family in traditional Japanese rooms with time to explore the small temple town.

Day 2 The Grand Ocean Temple of Zenpoji

Start your second day with an early morning ritual led by the Yamabushi of your lodge followed by a traditional shojin ryori breakfast. 
After saying goodbye to the family, depart with a local guide and taxi for the day.

Make a visit to a sake factory at the base of the Dewa Sanzan to meet the local brewers and see how some of Japan’s finest sake is made with the pure water, special rice, and centuries of expertise here in Yamagata.  Sake is an integral part of all parts of life in Japanese culture and the religious experiences you are experiencing here. 

Following this we will make our way into the open rice fields of Yamagata for lunch before transiting to the grand ocean temple of Zenpoji up against the mountains that border the coastline.

Dedicated to the worship of the gods of the ocean, Zenpoji Temple serves as a major destination of worship for fishermen and sailors across Japan who make yearly journeys here to pay their respects and wish for safe passage and bountiful harvests. 

Here you will explore this temple with its buddhist monks seeing its many halls, taking part in zen meditation, and its prayer sessions led by all the monks of this temple.  You will also have time to take time to explore the small town and walk to a lake behind the temple in the forests.

Spend the night at the temple here with meals served by the monks. 

It is also possible to replace the lodging at this temple with a stay at a western style hotel nearby, or a luxurious hot spring hotel by the coastline nearby the temple- please inform us if you desire this option.

Day 3 The Port City of Sakata

Wind down your adventure here in Yamagata with a temple breakfast and then a short ride to the port city of Yamagata where you can enjoy some of the traditional opulence of Japan from when Sakata flourished as a major hub for trade during the Edo Period centuries ago. 

Visit its historic sights including Japanese villas, fish markets and with a Japanese bento lunch, enjoy a live performance by the geisha of this port town with their own unique styles from those in Kyoto. 

At the end of this day we will take you back to the airport where you will take an early evening flight back to Tokyo. 

For travelers wishing to extend your trip, we have many other options including waterfall hikes, iaido samurai experiences, cycling tours, sushi making workshops, and more.  

Whats in this tour




This tour starts at 219,075 yen per person (minimum of 2 people). 
This package is a private tour, servicing your group only.  
Prices will vary depending on group size and the number of people that costs can be split between. 

You can send a booking inquiry for this tour below. After we receive your inquiry, we will confirm if we can accommodate your group and tour dates. 

Note that each tour is arranged by hand and this may take time if it is a national holiday.
A 20% fee for the total tour cost will be needed to formally book this tour. 
Full payment for this tour will be required 1 month before its start date.

Please fill in the information below to get started.

Cancelation and Change Policy

Our general cancelation policy for our tours is below. Cancelation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.
Changes to your tour dates can generally be made up to 45 days before your tour.

We always encourage guests to sign up for travel insurance and we are ready to help you with refunds with your insurance agency. 

45 days or more before date of tour

No penalty

1 month (30 days) before date of tour

20% of total price

2 weeks (14 days) before date of tour

50% of total price

Less than 2 weeks (less than 14 days)

100% of total price