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

Born East of the Wall and South of Berlin, I am celebrating my 15th year anniversary in Japan in May 2020, the country that I call home now. I lived in crazy Tokyo for 6 years and since 2011 I call the beautiful Kii Peninsula (Kumano, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama) my home.I have been a JapanTravel Partner since the conception of the platform in 2011! In Tokyo I worked in market research at AIP Corporation and in business education at JMEC. For the last 10 years I have been a guide for foreign visitors at Venture Japan, on top of being a Freelance Writer and a Business Researcher.  Apart from work, I trained at the Yoshinkan Aikido Dojo and at the Oedo Sukeroku Taiko Dojo for several years each, and I ran the 1st Tokyo Marathon and enjoyed cycling around Tokyo. During the last 10 years I am working with local authorities to improve their hospitality to foreign visitors and I have participated in many monitors as a media representative.  My current 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 a licensed guide for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails  and for Koyasan, the Buddhist monastery, in addition to being a practitioner and licensed guide for Forest Therapy (Shinrin Therapy).  As a guide for walking tours, I have taken visitors to walk the Kumano Kodo trails, the Nakasendo trail and the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage trail.  Being grounded during this COVID-19 crisis, I enjoy gardening, baking bread in my new Japanese bread-maker and going for walks around 'my' village.  Take care, keep well, stay safe!