Top things to do in Dewa Sanzan

Top Choice Mountain in Dewa Sanzan

Haguro-san

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

Gas-san

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) in…
Top Choice Mountain in Dewa Sanzan

Yudono-san

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

Gassan-jinja

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, p…
Cultural in Dewa Sanzan

Shōrei-sai

On New Year's Eve, yamabushi novices perform similar rituals to those of the mountain priests at the Hassaku Matsuri, competing with each other after completing a 100-day-long period of cleansing and self-deprivatio…
Cultural in Dewa Sanzan

Hassaku Matsuri

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

Yudono-san-jinja

Beyond the giant red torii (gate) of this shrine, ancient tradition (and stern-faced priests) forbids 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

Halfway up the stone stairs of Haguro-san, as your calves are burning and your heart is pumping madly, this charming teahouse appears like a mirage. Here you'll be greeted by marvellous views and smiling women selli…