Mount Haguro in Winter

Experiment of snow-walking in wara rice straw boots

By Alena Eckelmann    - 1 min read

Mount Haguro, one of the Three Mountains of Dewa, in Yamagata is worth a visit during all seasons. While the two other Dewa mountains, Mount Gassan and Mount Yudono, are closed during winter, Haguro-san is accessible. You can walk down the valley to where Tohoku's oldest five-story pagoda stands. In summer it would be stone steps but in winter all is covered in a thick layer of snow. The path from Zuishin Gate to the pagoda is cleared from snow daily. How about doing a snow walk in wara boots? You can rent them from the Ideha Cultural Museum located near Zuishin Gate. The wara boots are hand-made by wara craftsman Saito-san who lives nearby.

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Alena Eckelmann

Alena Eckelmann @alena.eckelmann

Celebrating my 10th year anniversary in Japan in May 2018, the country that I call home now. I lived in crazy Tokyo for 6 years and since 2011 I call the Kii Peninsula (Kumano, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama) my home. I have visited all 47 prefectures of Japan and for the last 4 years I have worked as a guide for foreign visitors. My special interest is in Japanese nature and spirituality. I love spending time in the forest and mountains and I love visiting temples and shrines. I am also a licensed guide for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails and for Koyasan, the Buddhist monastery, in addition to being a practitioner and guide for Shinrin Yoku (Forest Therapy).   In recent years I have taken visitors to walk the Kumano Kodo trails, the Nakasendo trail, the 88 temple pilgrimage trail around Shikoku Island and to Dewa Sanzan, the three sacred mountains in Yamagata Prefecture. If you look for nature and spirituality in your trip to Japan, then Wakayama, Nara and Yamagata Prefectures are ideal places to get started!