Yamabushi Experience

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A Deeper Journey into Japan

"The mountains teach you who you are." - Master Hoshino

This is an experience beyond the usual tours. It is a journey to northeastern Japan to experience a pilgrimage carried out for centuries to strengthen your resolve and to start anew, refreshed. It is a journey to go deeper into your true self.

Learn about and dig into the rarely advertised sansai mountain vegetables that have long been a vital nutritional source in Japan prepared by a master chef and forager. Meditate in a seaside monastery and feel the power of the Japanese taiko drum as the monks fill the air with the heart sutra. Dine on fresh farm-to-table food, learning the ways of meditative Zen eating, carefully experiencing textures and tastes you thought you already knew. Be an explorer, dive in deep and take home something besides photographs.


Under the guidance of the Zen monks, with the support of your interpreter, you will seek a mindset of stillness and focus. Through seated meditation (zazen), brush calligraphy, and chanting, you will have the opportunity to find stillness and strength of mind applicable in your daily life. Even your lunch is a unique opportunity not only to try traditional Shojin cuisine, but to participate in the Zen mealtime rituals practised by the monks for centuries. Sharing in the everyday activities at Zenpoji is a chance for you to draw from a millennia of Zen experience and distill the relevance and mindfulness into your modern life.

Yamabushi Guided Hike

It's a walking guided hike of some aspects of Yamabushi life. It's designed to give participants more context to the training and general advice on how to incorporate lessons from the mountains into their daily lives, while allowing them to take pictures and ask questions. Guided by a Yamabushi, this is an introductory visit to Haguro-san (Mt. Haguro), incorporating its most imprtant spaces and sacred rituals. It is an opportunity for a day of mindful meditation and exploration in the dramatic and sacred landscape. Prolonged periods of silence and contemplation allow an experience on the mountain as a journey into yourself, not simply a guided tour. You will take part in official rituals at the main shrine on top of Haguro-san, and enjoy a lunch of traditional Shojin Ryori (ascetic cuisine) at Saikan, a unique culinary practice combining locally cultivated and foraged foods.

Saikan Storage Tour

Everything included in Shojin Ryori ascetic cuisine comes from the mountain. During the winter months it is impossible to forage for edible plants while the snow accumulates higher and higher. Go behind the scenes of Shojin Ryori ascetic cuisine and see the methods yamabushi have used to preserve their food for hundreds of years. See the ingenuity of the yamabushi ancestors who secluded themselves in the mountains and survived on the plants available around them.


The best mountain vegetable cuisine Japan has to offer. The food is prepared using the healthiest and some of the rarest mountain vegetables in Japan. Take a seat at a table where every dish is an expression of the current season. Really feel what nature has to offer with the cuisine that is delicately prepared to bring out the natural flavors of vegetables from local mountains, revered places in Japanese culture. Unlike anything else, Dewaya will introduce you to a world rarely seen, and inspire you.




SUNDAY 14 MAY 2023

Morning arrival at Haneda Airport (Tokyo)

Domestic flight from Haneda Airport (Tokyo) to Shonai Airport (Tsuruoka)

Transfer to Suiden Terrace Hotel

Dinner & Overnight at the Suiden Terrace Hotel

MONDAY 15 MAY 2023

Breakfast at Suiden Terrace Hotel

Transfer to Zenpoji Temple

Afternoon exploration around the temple grounds

Lunch & Dinner at Zenpoji Temple

Evening prayer session & Overnight at Zenpoji Temple


Morning prayer session & breakfast at Zenpoji Temple

Transfer to Daishinbo pilgrim lodge

Lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon relax time at a hot spring in Yupoka

Dinner & Overnight at Daishinbo pilgrim lodge


Breakfast at Daishinbo pilgrim lodge

Yamabushi Guided Hike (whole day)

Lunch at Ninosaka Cafe

Prayer sessions during the hike

Dinner & Overnight at Saikan 


Morning prayer session & breakfast at Saikan

Storage tour & Shojin Ryori experience by Chief Chef Shinkichi Ito

Hike in the forest around the Shrine

Lunch at Ishii Restaurant

Transfer to Tsutaya Resort                                                                                                                                                                    

Dinner & Overnight at Tsutaya Resort

FRIDAY 19 MAY 2023

Breakfast at Tsutaya Resort

Vegetable Forage Tour

Lunch at Dewaya (Chef's dining table)

Master Shida's guided instruction on Yamabushi

Dinner & Overnight at Tsutaya Resort


Breakfast at Tsutaya Resort

Free & Easy morning

Transfer to Yamagata Station for the Shinkansen train to Tokyo Station 

Departure flight home or to your next destination

Extended stay in Tokyo (own expense)



Tour Packages


Prices of tour packages are listed in Sin$

Below are a list of items that are included and excluded in the tour package:


  • Ground transportation for the entire trip
  • Accommodation at all the different locations
  • Full board from dinner on 14 May to breakfast on 20 May 
  • Chef's dining experience at Dewaya
  • Vegetable forage tour & all organised activities
  • Pilgrimage jacket & sacred accessories (Ofuda, a sacred talisman; Shime, a white paper necklace)
  • Interpretation services 
  • Guided meditations, prayer sessions & offerings
  • On-site host & local guides
  • International airfares & taxes
  • Domestic flights & Shinkansen train tickets
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Meals and visits not mentioned in the program
  • Fees for individual visa
  • Personal expenses, drinks and souvenirs
  • Additional offerings to the temples & shrines





  • 7 Days 6 Nights

    Twin Share

    Participant @ $ 3,280

    Suiden Terrace Hotel, Tsutaya Resort, Zenpoji Temple, Daishinbo Pilgrim Lodge & Saikan (Twin) All accommodations (Full Board)

  • 7 Days 6 Nights

    Single Room

    Participant @ $ 3,630

    Suiden Terrace Hotel & Tsutaya Resort (Single) Zenpoji Temple, Daishinbo Pilgrim Lodge & Saikan (Twin) All accommodations (Full Board)

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registration is open 


Registration for the tour package(s) is done through a hard copy form. Please write to us via the link below.

If you intend to take the single occupancy package, please be advised that only the Suiden Terrace Hotel & Tsutaya Resort will be available for you. However, if there is available space at the Zenpoji Temple, Daishinbo Pilgrim Lodge & Saikan Temple, we will put you in a single room, if not it will be twin share for these accommodations. 

Do note that there is no shorter duration besides what's being offered for the tour. However, any extension (before or after the tour) will be on your own personal arrangements.

Thank you very much for choosing to travel with us. 

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