Waterfall Training on Mt. Yudono

Yamagata Prefecture

Take part in a day-long training program at Mt. Yudono.

Take part in a day-long training program at Mt. Yudono, the most sacred part of the Dewa Sanzan (Three Holy Mountains of Dewa). This program is known as the Gyo Experience and is fully guided by Yamabushi monks of Mt. Yudono.  

This training ritual was also the focus of a program on NHK World and has since garnered the attention of those seeking to experience the deeply spiritual side of the Dewa Sanzan.

Experience Waterfall Training at Mt. Yudono

What's Included

Dressing into Shirosozoku robes.
Hike along the secret trails of Mt. Yudono to perform prayers and rituals right under one of the waterfalls.
Purifying rituals (paper effigy) to enter the shrine complex.
Make offerings to the mountain.
Enjoy Shojin Ryori.
Experience the Hi Matsuri (Fire Festival).
Receive a charm and amulet from the Yamabushi of Mt. Yudono.

Cost

Subject to availability. Inquire for more information.
There are additional charges for the purchasing the Yamabushi clothing, which are unable to be rented out due to the way the clothing is worn.
Men: 1,300 yen (traditional underwear, headband, sandals)
Women: 5,300 yen (top and bottom robes, headband, sandals)
All purchased clothing may be taken home with you as part of the experience.

Experience Availability

Early Summer to Early Fall

Average Duration

5 – 6 hours

Meeting Location

Mt. Yudono

Minimum amount of participants

2 people.
That this experience becomes progressively cheaper if the number of participants increases (the lowest price is reached at 8 or more participants).

Important notes

Please note a translator will be required for those who cannot communicate in Japanese. This is for important safety reasons. The cost of a translator will depend on several factors and is not included in the base price of this experience, so please select in the reservation form if you need a translator.
Any and all forms of photography or videos are strictly forbidden at this holy site of incredible importance to the Yamabushi.
These are outdoor activities, and may be subject to cancellation if the weather presents dangerous conditions.
Experience availability may vary. Reserve to confirm availability.
Please notify us at least 3 days before if you must cancel or modify your reservation.

Waterfall Training at Mt. Yudono

We will begin our day dressing into Shirosozoku robes, the white robes of the dead, as we purify and steady our minds and spirits in the many rituals ahead.

After dressing in these robes, participants will hike along the secret trails of Mt. Yudono to sacred waterfalls where we will perform prayers and rituals right under one of the waterfalls of Mt. Yudono.

Following this, we will make our way to the main shrine of Mt. Yudono where the monks will lead you through a variety of rituals to purify our bodies before we will be allowed into the shrine complex.

This includes wiping a paper effigy across our body to transfer our sins into the doll before releasing it into a nearby stream. 

Please note that any and all forms of photography or videos are strictly forbidden at this holy site of incredible importance to the Yamabushi.

Here we will make offerings to the deity of this mountain, a massive red boulder with hot spring water bursting forth which symbolizes the birth of new life.

The next part of the Gyo Experience will be to enjoy Shojin Ryori, the traditional religious cuisine of the Yamabushi mountain monks.

The consumption of this highly symbolic meal represents our recognition and gratitude for the sustenance provided to our body and soul by these mountains.

Its seasonal vegetables and simplistic form are also believed to help bring balance and purity to our physical bodies.

The last part of this training will be to take part in a ritual at a separate portion of the Mt. Yudono Shrine.

Here participants will experience the Hi Matsuri (Fire Festival) where yamabushi monks reflect deep into the many generations of ancestors who have proceeded them and thank them for the sacrifices they have made. Shugendo presses great importance on honoring the dead, as it is only thanks to them that we ourselves are fortunate enough to exist here in the present.

To conclude this training, you will receive a charm and amulet from the Yamabushi of Mt. Yudono recognizing your completion of the trials on this day.

Reserve your Mt. Yudono Waterfall Training 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