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SHINRIN'YOKU
"FOREST BATHS"

"Forest baths"

Shinrin'yoku 森林浴, the Japanese art of "healing" one's soul in the forests

"Forest baths", known as shinrin'yoku, is a fabulous way to experience the deep connection that binds Japanese people and Nature for millennia. 

Japanese people have been worshipping mountains and forests for as long as Japanese civilization has existed. Wherever there is a mountain, there is a kami (Shinto deity).

Come pay a visit to Tsuruoka's kami by venturing inside the forests and absorb all the good energy that emanates from the trees.

Our recommendations for forest bathing: 

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Minakami Hachiman Shrine

Minakami Hachiman Jinja 水上八幡神社

​Title:

National Important Cultural Property

A place famous for its path covered in moss and its National Cultural Property the Thatch-Roofed Shrine.

Area:

​ Yutagawa Onsen

Required time:

30 min

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Sanze's Kihi Shrine

Sanze Kihi Jinja 三瀬気比神社

​Title:

National Natural Monument

Kihi Shrine was built in 1337 and worships the god of food. Quite logical for a shrine that is located in the middle of rice fields and close to the sea.

Area:

Yura Onsen

Required time:

30 min to 1 hour

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Mt. Haguro

Hagurosan 羽黒山

​Title:

Japan Heritage

Discover its pagoda, its 1000 years old cedar tree and all its ancient shrines hidden in its forest.

Area:

Haguro

Required time:

​2 to 4 hours

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Hakusan shrine

Hakusan Jinja 白山神社

Cross the bridge over the sea that connects Yura's beach to Hakusan-jima islet to discover a small shrine in a forest above the sea.

Area:

​ Yutagawa Onsen

Required time:

1 hour and half

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Mizusawa's Kumano Shrine

Mizusawa Kumano Jinja 水沢熊野神社

​Title:

National Natural Monument

​Discover its giant cedar tree registered in the National list of Natural Monuments.

Area:

​ Yutagawa Onsen

Required time:

30 minutes

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Zenpoji's Kaibami Pond

Zenpoji Kaibami ike 善宝寺貝喰池

​Title:

Japan Heritage

Venture in the forest behind the big Soto Zen Temple, and discover its human-faced fish, avatars of the Dragon god worshipped in the temple.

Area:

Yunohama Onsen

Required time:

30 minutes to 2 hours

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Mt. Kinbo

Kinbozan 金峰山

​Title:

National Place of Scenic Beauty

This mountain was once an annexed part of Mt. Haguro. It worships the gods of "enmusubi" ("tying links"), and couples like to go there to pray for a happy future. This is where the snow lantern festival takes place in Tsuruoka.

Area:

​ Yutagawa Onsen

Required time:

1 hour - 4 hours

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Yuzusame Shrine

Yuzusame Jinja 由豆佐売神社

​Title:

Prefectural Natural Monument

This shrine worships three gods, including the goddess of onsen. If you wish to take the path behind the shrine, to go further in the forest, bring a bear bell with you. Just in case.

Area:

​ Yutagawa Onsen

Required time:

30 minutes to 1 hour

GO FURTHER:

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The Rokujurigoe-kaido Path, a 44km long pilgrimage trail, used by Mt. Yudono's pilgrims for more than 1200 years.

Go see the sokushinbutsu mummies, the dragon god tree, and Mt. Yudono on foot.