Booking is currently not available for this experience. Please check back later.

Hike Sacred Mountain with Yamabushi (Includes Shojin Ryori)

Organized by Cradle
Show all photos
Show all photos
Experience Details
Experience Location
3 hours
Number of Guests
2 - 2 guests
Japanese, English
Vegetarian, Pescetarian
Learn about the ancient religion of Shugendo, based on nature worship, as you hike the holy Mt. Haguro with a Yamabushi mountain ascetic and try the vegetarian cuisine of Japanese monks.
Wear the traditional white robes of Yamabushi ascetics
Hike up Mt. Haguro (the shortest of the “Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa”) with a Yamabushi guide
Gaze upon the 5-story pagoda and a 1,000-year-old cedar tree
Learn about Shugendo, Japan’s ancient religion based on nature worship
Rest at an inn on Mt. Haguro, and enjoy a meal of shojin ryori
For each guest that attends this experience, byFood will donate
10 meals
Experience Details
Dewa Sanzan, the “Three Mountains of Dewa,” is a prominent site of Shugendo (nature worship) practices. Visitors may attempt the “Journey of Rebirth,” climbing all three mountains, each representing a different stage in the pilgrimage: Mt. Haguro is the present, Mt. Gassan represents the past, and Mt. Yudono symbolizes the future. For over 1,400 years, people have been undertaking the Journey of Rebirth and completing the accompanying rites along the way. This Yamabushi-guided tour takes place on Mt. Haguro, the most accessible and shortest of the Dewa Sanzan, with 2,446 stone steps. Along the way, eagle-eyed hikers can spot carvings engraved in the steps. That is, if the stunning view of hundreds of cedar trees, one of which is over 1,000 years old, and stunning five-story pagoda don’t distract. Mt. Haguro has notably received three stars from the Michelin Green Guide, which selects places based on authenticity, beauty, historical significance, and more. After the hike, there is a stop at a traditional Japanese ryokan inn on the mountain. Here, hikers will refuel with shojin ryori, the plant-based cuisine of Japanese monks. Featuring fresh local vegetables, some of which are even harvested from Dewa Sanzan, the meal is 100% vegetarian and made without causing harm to animals. Far from being austere, this lunch is quite filling, featuring ten dishes in addition to rice, miso soup, and pickles. The mark of a great shojin ryori chef is his goma dofu (sesame tofu), and here it is velvety and smooth, with a lovely nutty flavor. This is an unforgettable experience for travelers who would like to feel more connected to nature and learn about Japan’s ancient spiritual practices. The journey is sure to leave visitors feeling refreshed, while the shojin ryori meal allows them to not just experience the practices of Shugendo nature worship, but internalize it.
Knowledgable Yamabushi guide
Yamabushi clothing and shoes
Shojin cuisine meal at an inn
Meeting Point and Meeting Time
Meet in front of Ideha Cultural Memorial Hall, Tsuruoka (address: Injuminami-72 Haguromachi Touge, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0211).
Please note that this hike requires a basic level of physical fitness
This experience is available from April 25th to November 3rd
Cancellation Policy
Cancel your booking at least 2 days before the experience start time to receive a full refund minus a 3.2% transaction fee.
Read more

Experience Location

While the Zao Onsen ski resort is the major winter attraction of Yamagata, the prefecture offers activities year-round, from hiking the mountainous surrounds and discovering tree-shrouded temples, to soothing hot spring retreats, and even a large-scale human chess tournament in the spring!
Get Directions
Place a Booking
Select at least 2 guests
Select Guest
Select at least 2 guests
(8 - 120)
Select Date
Select Time
Earliest available date: May 20, 2024
¥ 33,000
per guest
Book Now
Please note that the time is in Japan Standard Time.
Free cancellation (2 days notice)
For each guest that attends this experience, byFood will donate
10 meals