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Yamagata Cycling: Goma Fire Ritual

A spiritually enriching experience with a route offering soothing views of nature.

Featuring a goma fire ritual at a Tendai temple as highlight, this is an ideal tour for those interested in holistic health. To complement this spiritually enriching experience, calm your mind and stimulate your body by cycling to and from the temple along a route offering soothing views of nature. Riding e-bikes and accompanied by an English-speaking guide, even those who are not expert cyclists can comfortably enjoy this tour.

Yamagata Cycling: Goma Fire Ritual in Yamagata City

What's Included

  • E-bike and helmet rental
  • Pottery making experience
  • English-speaking guide
  • Accident insurance (any other type of insurance is not included)


¥25,000 per person for a party of 2
¥20,000 per person for a party of 3
¥17,500 per person for a party of 4

Experience Availability

Spring to Fall
Tour also subject to cancellation in the event of an important temple matter (Buddhist memorial service, etc.) arises.

Average Duration

Approximately 3 hours

Meeting Location

Yamagata Creative City Center Q1, room 1-A
The Hidden Japan Yamagata City office

Minimum number of participants

2 people

Maximum number of participants

4 people

Important notes

Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.
Please notify us at least 3 days before if you must cancel or modify your reservation.

Goma fire ritual and cycling

Meet at the reception and receive your e-bike and rental helmet, then head outside to the courtyard to review basic safety maneuvers and movements like braking and U-turns.

The following points will be checked:
a. Can rider make a U-turn?
b. Can rider make a U-turn without putting their foot down?
c. Can rider make a U-turn without wobbling?
d. Is rider using brakes to control their speed?
e. Can rider come to a complete stop using only bicycle brakes (i.e., the rider is not using their feet to brake when coming to a stop)?
f. Can the rider come to a stop and set their feet down without losing their balance?
*Guests may be refused participation in the tour if cycling guide deems them to be having excessive difficulty executing the above-listed maneuvers.

Cycling the Yamagata outskirts- the temple where you will experience your goma fire ritual lies on the outskirts of Yamagata, a slight uphill journey from the city center.
Thanks to the e-bike’s assist function, climbing this slope will feel like a breeze. Pedaling at your own pace, take in the nature of Yamagata in comfort. If you find a view spot you are fond of, feel free to stop your bike along the side of the road and snap a photo.
The temple garden, exhibiting the beauty of the four seasons, is a must-see. After arriving, proceed to the hondo main hall to meet the head priest and hear a talk about the temple and the meaning of goma. Prepare for the goma ritual by making a gomagi prayer stick. There will also be time to use the restroom here before proceeding to the ritual hall.
Experience the world of esoteric Buddhism with a goma fire prayer ritual, followed by a conversation and Q&A session with the head priest (In the event that cycling to the temple takes longer than anticipated, conversation/Q&A session may be shortened). After the goma experience and conversation, return to Q1.

Sample tour schedule

Meet in downtown Yamagata at Yamagata Creative City Center Q1
E-bike test riding and safety check
Ride south with guide
(About halfway to destination) Begin ride uphill
Arrive at temple
Gather in hondo main hall for introductory talk with head priest and to make gomagi prayer stick
Goma ritual in hall
Conversation time with head priest
Return to central Yamagata along same route
Arrive back at Yamagata Creative City Center Q1 
Tour ends

Yamagata Cycling: Goma Fire Ritual reservations

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.

Cancellation policy

Our general cancellation policy for this experience is below. Cancellation fees may vary according to exceptional circumstances.

3 business days before tour start date

20% of total price

Date of experience before designated start time​

50% of total price

After designated start time, or in the event of a no show ​

100% of total price