What is it..?
The Rokujurigoe-kaido, literally: "The over-235km-road", is an ancient trail that was once the heart of the commercial, religious and administrative activities of the Shonai region. The first mention of the Rokujurigoe-kaido goes back 1200 years ago. It connected Tsuruoka, Oami village, Tamugimata village, Mt. Yudono to Sagae, and even Yamagata city. Even if its name says it is "235 kilometers long", the practicable part of the path is only 44km long nowadays. It is still a very challenging trekking experience even for professional hikers.
Because the Dewa Sanzan pilgrims in the Tohoku region mainly used it to visit Mt. Yudono, it is also called "Yudono-michi" ("the path to Mt. Yudono"). But at the time, any travelers used the Rokujurigoe-kaido; the lords of the Shonai clan even took it to go to the capital every time the Shogun called them back by their side.
When walking the Rokujurigoe-kaido, you will come across several sacred trees and religious stela referring to Buddhism or Dewa Sanzan, rest in what was once pilgrim teahouses and see so many more vestiges.
A good way to discover what was the Dewa Sanzan's pilgrim life 1200 years ago...
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WHERE TO STAY?
You fear you'll miss the bus back to Tsuruoka? It's safer to stay in one of the hotels, ryokan, or guesthouses in the area.