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Hiking Trails in Tsuruoka

Walk along the paths taken by the pilgrims for over a millennium.

              The Tohoku region (North-Eastern Japan) is the dream destination for hiking lovers. The calm, the untouched nature, the mountains, the ancient shrines scattered across the forests... There are so many wonders waiting for adventurers in Yamagata Prefecture.

Not to be outdone, Tsuruoka City has many trekking trails with several difficulty levels that will satisfy any hiker. Have a look at our trails:

On the map:

List:

Rokujurigoe-Kaido: From Honmyoji to Churenji
Spring to Autumn

Rokujurigoe-Kaido: From Honmyoji to Churenji

六十里越街道:松根から注連寺までのコース

The starting point of the Rokujurigoe-Kaido pilgrimage to Mt. Yudono.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

6.5

km.

500

m.

2.3

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Rather safe
Difficulty:
Easy
Rokujurigoe-Kaido: From the Nanatsu falls to Yudono
Spring to Autumn

Rokujurigoe-Kaido: From the Nanatsu falls to Yudono

「ゆどの道」六十里越街道の巡礼

The final step before reaching Mt. Haguro through the Rokujurigoe-Kaido pilgrim trail.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

11

km.

834

m.

5

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Caution advised
Difficulty:
Moderate
Hike from Mt. Gassan to Mt. Yudono
Summer

Hike from Mt. Gassan to Mt. Yudono

月山から湯殿山までの登山道

Walk the pilgrimage route to Mt. Yudono from Mt. Gassan.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

5.1

km.

-1130

m.

2.3

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Dangerous
Difficulty:
Hard
Mt. Atsumi's Pilgrimage
Spring to Autumn

Mt. Atsumi's Pilgrimage

温海嶽の巡礼

Atsumi is said to have been founded by the creator of Shugendo himself: En no Gyoja. Walk upon its sacred Shugendo paths.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

10.5

km.

720

m.

5

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Caution advised
Difficulty:
Moderate
Rokujurigoe-Kaido: From Churenji to Dainichibo Temple
All-year-round

Rokujurigoe-Kaido: From Churenji to Dainichibo Temple

六十里越街道:注連寺から大日坊

The road that connects two of the most important temples in Mt. Yudono's history, each entombing a Sokushinbutsu mummy.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

3

km.

10

m.

0.3

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Safe
Difficulty:
Very easy
Hike to the top of Mt. Haguro
Spring to Autumn

Hike to the top of Mt. Haguro

羽黒山の石段登り

Climb the 2446 steps within the cedar forests that received 3 stars in the Green Michelin Guide.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

3.5

km.

310

m.

1.2

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Rather safe
Difficulty:
Moderate
Hike to Mt. Haguro's pagoda
All-year-round

Hike to Mt. Haguro's pagoda

羽黒山五重塔までの散歩

An easy walk up to the 700 years old National Treasure.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

0.8

km.

40

m.

0.2

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Safe
Difficulty:
Very easy
Rokujurigoe-Kaido: From Dainichibo Temple to the Nanatsu Falls
Spring to Autumn

Rokujurigoe-Kaido: From Dainichibo Temple to the Nanatsu Falls

六十里越街道:大日坊から七ツ滝まで

Leave the mummies village to go back to the Rokujurigoe-Kaido forests.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

4

km.

160

m.

1.5

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Caution advised
Difficulty:
Easy
Hike to the top of Mt. Gassan
Summer

Hike to the top of Mt. Gassan

月山登山

Also called "The Realm of the Dead", or "The Mountain of the Past", Mt. Gassan is the most important step in the Dewa Sanzan's yamabushi training.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

5.5

km.

600

m.

2.3

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Several dangers
Difficulty:
Challenging
Mt. Kinbo's Pilgrimage
Spring to Autumn

Mt. Kinbo's Pilgrimage

藤沢から金峯山までの古道

Dewa Sanzan is not the only sacred place of Shugendo in Tsuruoka. Discover another sacred Yamabushi place around Yutagawa Onsen.

Length:
Elevation:
Duration:

8

km.

423

m.

3

hours (for beginners)
Danger:
Caution advised
Difficulty:
Moderate
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Beware of the bears!

When you take a stroll in the mountains of Japan's forests, you need to be cautious about the Japanese black bear. Though they are not aggressive by nature and normally fear humans, they will attack if they are surprised. To let them know about your presence, we highly recommend you to attach a bear bell to your gear when walking inside a forest. The sound of the bell will alert the bears of your presence, letting them know they better back off, thus avoiding the risk of an attack caused by surprise. You can also sing, laugh, talk loudly to make sure the bears hear you.

If you happen to encounter a bear, always face him. Slowly step back, don't scream, don't run.

Even if it's true baby bears are the cutest things ever, NEVER touch a cub or come close to them. Momma bear is never very far, and she is extremely aggressive. 

You can also buy a "bear pepper spray" in Japanese drugstores; it will give you enough time to escape.

WHERE TO BUY BEAR GEAR: