Mt. Yudono's yamabushi trail

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What is it..?

   Mt. Yudono's Yamabushi trail is the path that the pilgrims of the Dewa Sanzan use to reach Mt. Yudono's shrine at the top of the mountain. 

While most people choose to ride the shuttle bus up to the top (8min. ride) or walk the paved road on foot, Yamabushi pilgrims go there through an adventurous path. 

There are many Buddhist steles and Shintoist spots where Yamabushi pray and sing their incantations along the way.  
They will then have to cross a wild forest, climb down and up some ladders, cross a river, and undergo the waterfall training for the bravest ones.

This hiking trail is perilous, especially the river and the ladder parts. We recommend being accompanied by a Yamabushi monk.
Please DO NOT attempt this if you have health conditions and/or don't have the appropriate climbing gear/yamabushi outfit. Children or people with a health condition SHOULD NOT attempt hiking this trail.

Please remind that you will have water up to the knees and that you will have to climb a metal ladder after that. It can get very slippery, so be extremely careful when climbing.

70 MIN

3KM

DANGER

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STEPS:

STEP 1

Go to Mt. Yudono. 

By bus, get off at Yudonosan Senninzawa 湯殿山仙人沢.

There are limited buses so please check carefully the timetables before departure.

STEP 2

Go up the paved road for a while. You should arrive at this red bridge. 

You will see several steles on your way.

STEP 3

The entrance to the path is hidden behind the bush. Don't miss it! 

From there, you will have to climb down a ladder stuck in the rock. Be careful. Don't go further if you feel unwell or if you don't have the appropriate shoes or equipment. 

STEP 4

You arrived at the banks of a river. You will have to cross it. It's slippery, so watch your steps. Keep all your electronic devices and precious belongings in waterproof cases.

STEP 5

You arrived at the yamabushi training's waterfall. If you are experienced or if you have a yamabushi guide with you, you can try the yamabushi waterfall meditation. But remember: it is dangerous and painful. Do not let children, elders or people with a health condition attempt it. DO NOT attempt alone

STEP 6

On the right, there is a long ladder stuck in the rock. This is the most dangerous part of the path, please make sure to not have slippery shoes and hold tightly to the ladder. DO NOT attempt if you get easily dizzy, have any kind of health condition or if you feel unwell in general. 

STEP 7

You're inside a deep forest. Find your way forward to the Mt. Yudono shrine. The bushes might have gotten wild on your way, push them away.

STEP 8

You're at the top of Mt. Yudono. You will need to remove your shoes and socks to take the purification prayer (500 yen).

STEP 9

You did it! Otsukaresama deshita お疲れ様でした! ("Congratulations for your efforts")

I WANT A FULL YAMABUSHI EXPERIENCE:

Make contact with one of our yamabushi guides to apply for a yamabushi experience: