Wakayama: Japan's Spiritual Heartland
From the Kumano Sanzan route to the mountain temples of Koyasan
From the Kumano Sanzan route to the
the mountain temples of Koyasan

Experience the Spiritual Sanctuaries of Yamagata

Get to know the soul of Yamagata through trekking and Zen

Discover the essence of Japanese spirituality through these tours around some of the most sacred and iconic locations in the beautiful and relatively untouched prefecture of Yamagata. Only a short shinkansen trip or flight from Tokyo, Yamagata Prefecture is the true reflection of the spiritual soul of Japan. These tours which involve trekking through the stunning and revered mountains of Dewa Sanzan and zen experiences with Buddhist monks and guides at two of the most esteemed temples in Japan are true once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Trekking with traditional mountain guides through forests with spectacular views of the ancient towns and villages below, secret paths and walkways through iconic temple complexes and learning and experiencing authentic zen meditation practices with real Buddhist monks is an otherworldly experience and one special to Yamagata Prefecture.

Dewa Sanzan
01 / 03 - Dewa Sanzan, Yamagata

Dewa Sanzan Pilgrimage Trek with Yamabushi

The sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan are synonymous with Yamagata Prefecture. Ascend the steps of Mount Haguro with yamabushi (traditional pilgrim guides) and finish at the peak which hosts the stunning Dewa Sanzan Shrine which completes this journey of spiritual awakening and rebirth.

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02 / 03 - Yamadera, Yamagata

Zen Experience at Yamadera Hidden Path

Yamadera is one of the most iconic temples in Japan. What most people don't know, however is that there is a hidden path which is known by locals to be a mystical "power spot." Experience this backroad through the Yamadera complex with expert local guides who navigate you through some spectacular scenery, secret caves and spots which hold mysterious and special energy.

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03 / 03 - Tsuruoka, Yamagata

Zen Experience at Zenpoji Temple

Zenpoji is one of the most scenic and spectacular Zen Buddhist temples in Japan. Learn about Zen meditation with the temple monks and then practice with them in a sacred room which has been used for meditation for centuries. Sustenance comes in the form of a shojin ryori (a traditional vegetarian meal) lunch with the monks who explain the importance and meaning behind food in Zen Buddhism.

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Explore more Yamagata

Read more about the prefecture's enchanting offerings