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Top choice in Northern Honshū (Tōhoku)

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.

To finish the pilgrimage, it's a mere 10-minute hike down the mountain to the trailhead at Yudono-san Sanrōsho (湯殿山参籠所), marked by a torii and adjacent to the Sennin-zawa (仙人沢) bus stop.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Honshū (Tōhoku) attractions

1. Yudono-san-jinja

0.75 MILES

Beyond the giant red torii of this shrine, ancient tradition (and stern-faced priests) forbids disclosure of what you witness. It's forbidden to…

2. Gas-san

2.53 MILES

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…

3. Gas-san-jinja

2.57 MILES

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…

4. Haguro-san

11.83 MILES

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,…

5. Chidō Museum

16.22 MILES

Founded in 1950 by the former Lord Shōnai in order to preserve local culture, this museum features Sakai-family artefacts, two Meiji-era buildings, a…

6. Zenpō-ji

20.42 MILES

Seven kilometres west of Tsuruoka is this Zen Buddhist temple, complete with five-tier pagoda and large gateway. It dates from the 10th century, when it…

7. Kamo Aquarium

21.27 MILES

The world's largest jellyfish tank – containing 30 to 40 species at any one time – was given a spark by a Nobel Prize–winning scientist who discovered a…

8. Historical Abumiya Residence

27.69 MILES

Opposite the city hall, this private home once belonged to a wealthy shipping agent. With a beautiful garden and a fascinating variety of room divisions…