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Rokujurigoe Kaido Pilgrimage Trail

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A sacred place of mountain worship and temples with Buddhist mummies

DEGAM Tsuruoka Tourism Bureau



First built in ancient times, the Rokujurigoe Kaido trail in Tohoku was once the commercial, cultural, and religious hub between the Shonai region on the coast and Yamagata’s inner lands. Even though the original purposes of the paths were many, ranging from trade routes to use during military operations, they became more popular as religious pilgrimages in the 15th century.
Since then, pilgrims from all over northern Japan have converged on the Rokujurigoe Kaido to reach Mt. Yudono, a sacred place of mountain worship and Buddhism. Mt. Yudono’s Pilgrimage was so famous that in 1733, no less than 157,000 devotees made their way to the holy mountain.
Nowadays, the Rokujurigoe Kaido trail is much quieter. Even though the original pilgrimage was 100 kilometers long, the passable part of the path is currently 34 kilometers long; what remains is a challenging trekking experience—even for professional hikers. Alone or with a guide, discover along your way beech tree tunnels, Buddhist statues and monuments, ancient sacred trees, the Nanatsu waterfalls, and three temples entombing Japanese mummies called sokushinbutsu (lit. a ‘Buddha in this very body’).
Hikers must be equipped with a “bear bell” to avoid encountering bears. The hiking season opens in June and ends in early November.



How to get there


Travel from Tokyo Station to Niigata Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen (1 hour 45 minutes), then take a bus from bus stop No. 3 bound for Ochiai from Tsuruoka Station (1 hour 50 minutes). Get off at “Kumaide” bus stop and walk 1.5km to Honmyoji Temple.


Tamugimata, Tsuruoka-shi, Yamagata-ken

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