3 days
Plan your visit carefully and allow plenty of time for your activities in the park. Always check the latest weather information, and avoid overexerting yourself if you feel unwell.


Steep Yourself in the Mountain Faith of Shugendo

Discover the origins of the Shugendo faith on this three-day journey in Yoshino-Kumano National Park. You'll learn about cultural practices and sacred sites from Shugendo practitioners themselves while experiencing the beauty and tranquility of the region.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Walking and e-biking around the temples and shrines of Mount Yoshino.

  • Relaxing in the hot-springs resort of Dorogawa Onsen.

  • Experiencing ascetic practices on sacred mountain grounds.

Trip Overview

Learn about Shugendo in the sacred mountains
E-biking in the mountains and relaxing at the hot springs
Visit the sacred sites of Dorogawa Onsen
Day 1

E-biking and sightseeing around sacred Mount Yoshino

Start your day with an e-bike tour. This unique experience will bring you to the sacred sites of this World Heritage area. Your guide will introduce the history and culture of the area and show you around the temples and shrines of the mountain. The tour includes a coffee break at a superb lookout point.

Find a spot for lunch on the mountain, then visit Kinpusenji Temple, one of the most important Shugendo sites. The temple is home to many Important Cultural Properties, including the Zaodo (Main Hall) and the Niomon Gate with its fierce warrior statues.

Spend the night near Mount Yoshino to experience morning prayers early the next day at Kinpusenji.

Day 2

Learn about Shugendo from an experienced practitioner

Start your day with an early morning service at Kinpusenji Temple. Bask in the tranquility of your surroundings, before saying goodbye to Mount Yoshino and traveling to Kashihara for an immersive 1-night/2-day Shugendo experience that includes undertaking ascetic practices in the mountains.

The experience begins at Kashihara Navi Plaza. You will be met by an experienced Shugendo practitioner who will be your guide for the next two days. They will give you an introduction to the Shugendo faith, including its history and traditions. You will then travel with your guide to the hot spring town of Dorogawa Onsen. The area is sacred to Shugendo practitioners, and many mountain ascetics embark on pilgrimages into the mountains from here. You will begin your pilgrimage by offering a prayer at Tenkawa Jinja Shrine, to pray for safety in your ascetic training. Your guide will show you around the temple and then accompany you to your accommodation in town. Soak in the soothing hot springs to relax before bed.

Day 3

Undertake ascetic practices in the mountains

Wake up to breakfast at your accommodation and prepare for the day ahead. The pilgrimage into the mountains begins with waterfall purification rituals at Ryusenji Temple. Your expert guide will advise you on the correct etiquette and explain the details of the ritual. You will then embark on a 7-hour return climb to the summit of Mount Inamuragatake. The mountain has been a training ground for ascetics since ancient times. Once at the top, you will join your guide in offering prayers to the deity of the mountain, Amitabha Buddha.

The pilgrimage ends with a fire ritual back at Ryusenji Temple. It signifies a shedding of the tribulations of daily life and spiritual growth. Head back to your accommodation feeling renewed and soothe your weary muscles in a hot spring bath.

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