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Yamagata Prefecture on Honshu Island.

A spiritual pilgrimage
-Shonai-

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Dewa Sanzan in the Shonai area is a center for Shugendo, a religion rooted in mountain worship which blends Buddhist and Shinto traditions. Shugendo practitioners, called Yamabushi, train in the mountains. We offer two Yamabushi training experiences. This is the first time in 1300 years that Yamabushi training has been open to non-Japanese people.

Introduction

Shonai is a town on the northwest coast of Japan, close to the home of ancient pilgrimage site Dewa Sanzan (meaning ‘the three mountains of Dewa’). The three peaks are home to shrines, pagodas and temples, many of which are inaccessible in the snowy winter months. Dewa Sanzan is also the residence of Yamabushi, mountain hermits.

  • What is Yamabushi?

    The Yamabushi are the keepers of the Japanese mountain tradition, for more than a thousand years, they have had a sacred duty to honor nature. Their work offers an opportunity to build yourself strong among Japan’s areas of most outstanding beauty. Their Shugendo religion blends elements of many different beliefs, and emphasises the importance of endurance and asceticism.

Yamabushido experience.

We offer authentic Yamabushi training experiences to international guests, for individuals, and groups, and MICE customers. Yamabushido is a powerful and transformative experience of self-development and self-discovery. You’ll immerse yourself in Japanese mountain landscapes. The mountains will gently remind you who you really are.

Our programs are held on the Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa in Yamagata. Under the instruction of real Yamabushi, you’ll participate in activities which include mountain trekking, meditation, waterfall purification, and more. This is a practice of mindfulness, reflection, self-awareness, and restoration.

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