Top things to do

Top Choice Mountain in Dewa Sanzan


The 2446 stone steps through ancient cedars to Haguro-san's summit (419m) have been smoothed by centuries of pilgrims. The climb, taking up to two hours, passes Gojū-no-tō (五重塔), a beautiful wooden five-storey pagod…
Top Choice Mountain in Dewa Sanzan


Accessible from July to September, Gas-san (1984m) is the highest of Dewa Sanzan's sacred mountains. From Hachigōme (八合目; eighth station), the route passes through an alpine plateau to Kyūgōme (九合目; ninth station) i…
Top Choice Mountain in Dewa Sanzan


Accessible from May to October, Yudono-san (1504m) is the spiritual culmination of the Dewa Sanzan trek. Coming from Gas-san, it's a short walk from the stream bed at the end of the descent to Yudono-san-jinja.
Shinto Shrine in Dewa Sanzan


At the peak of Gas-san is the deeply spiritual Shintō shrine of Gassan-jinja. Before entering, you must be 'purifed': bow to receive the priest's benediction, then brush yourself head-to-toe with the slip of paper, …
Cultural in Dewa Sanzan


On New Year's Eve, yamabushi perform similar rituals to those of the mountain priests at the Hassaku Matsuri, competing with each other after completing 100-day-long austerities.
Cultural in Dewa Sanzan

Hassaku Matsuri

Yamabushi (mountain priests) perform ancient fire rites throughout the night to pray for a bountiful harvest.
Shinto Shrine in Dewa Sanzan


Beyond the giant red torii (gate) of this shrine, ancient tradition – and stern-faced priests – forbid disclosure of what you witness. It's forbidden to photograph and taboo to discuss this sacred natural shrine, so…
Teahouse in Dewa Sanzan


Ni-no-saka-chaya is a charming teahouse marking the halfway resting place for hikers on Dewa Sanzan's three-mountain trek. Here you'll be greeted by marvellous views and smiling women selling refreshments.