Use the

Planning a Trip to Japan?

Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with #visitjapanjp


A Spiritual Hike on Mt. Haguro


© Haguro Tourist Association  

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > A Spiritual Hike on Mt. Haguro


Climb a pilgrimage trail on one of the Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa

DEGAM Tsuruoka Tourism Bureau


© Jo IGARASHI with DEGAM Tsuruoka Tourism Bureau


Mt. Haguro, in the forests surrounding Tsuruoka City in Yamagata Prefecture in Tohoku, is one of the Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa, a National Heritage site and one of Japan’s oldest pilgrimage routes.

Also known as Dewa Sanzan, for more than 1,400 years pilgrims have come here to climb the mountains to simulate a spiritual death, in what is known as “the Journey of Rebirth.” It is believed the three mountains have unique powers, with each peak representing a stage in life. Mt. Haguro embodies the present life and the living world, Mt. Gassan represents the past and the dead world, and Mt. Yudono symbolizes the future and reincarnation.

To take part in the spiritual hike of Mt. Haguro, you must climb the 2,446 stone steps that start at Zuishinmon Gate up to the top, Haguro-sancho. On the way, you will pass Mt. Haguro's Five-Storied pagoda, a National Treasure which has stood in the middle of the cedar forest for six centuries. It is the only pagoda of its kind that is not painted. The wooden walls of the pagoda are left bare so the human construction can fuse with the surrounding nature, a legacy from Shugendo philosophy, an ancient Japanese practice of mountain and nature worship.

You can climb Mt. Haguro from mid-April to early December. Allow 90 minutes to complete the ascent.


How to get there

By train :
Travel via the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Niigata Station (1 hour 45 minutes), then take the Inaho Express to Tsuruoka Station (1 hour 50 minutes) and take a bus from stop No. 2 bound for Gassan Hachigome (35 minutes), then get off at the Haguro Zuishinmon bus stop.


By plane:
Travel from Haneda Airport (HND) to Shonai Airport (SYO) (1 hour), then take the Airport Limousine Bus operated by Shonai Kotsu to the Tsuruoka Ekimae train station (30 minutes).


Haguromachi Touge, Tsuruoka-shi, Yamagata-ken


Please Choose Your Language

Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages