Seeking Self-Discovery? Try Out Yamabushi-do Training in the Japanese Mountains!

Yamabushi are Japanese mountain people who believe in connecting with nature in order to gain inner power. These people usually make pilgrims to temples and shrines, pray and study hard, perform rituals and help villagers to understand their religion. As of this year, Megurun Inc. and Daishobo, a pilgrim lodge, are launching a mountain training…

Following the Yamagata Mountain Pilgrimage of One of Japan’s Greatest Poets

The Mountain Temple has long been synonymous with haiku master Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉) and his immortal travel log, Oku no Hosomichi (奥の細道; The Narrow Road into the Deep North). Its very name evokes feelings of mystery and tranquility. Situated in the Yamagata (山形) region of the beautiful Tohoku (東北), Yamadera (山寺), meaning “mountain temple”, is…

Try This Restaurant in Japan’s Tohoku Region with Its Unusual Mashed Potato!

What do you imagine when you hear mashed potatoes? The typical white mush, occasionally seasoned with oregano or black pepper? Well, there is actually a store in the Tohoku (東北) region called NORMA that offers a new kind of dish that will make you question all of the mashed potatoes you’ve ever eaten. Potato Cream…

Heading to Yamagata? Here Are 4 Must-Try Activities in the Area!

A place known for its agricultural products, hot springs, rural flair, and natural beauty is Yamagata (山形). It is a large prefecture along the coast of the Sea of Japan in the Tohoku (東北) region. Historically speaking, the aboriginal Ezo (蝦夷) people are greatly rooted in this place. There are also several major attractions that…

5 Exciting Activities to Do in Yamagata!

Yamagata in southern Tohoku is a prefecture famous for its beautiful scenery. It is famous for its Yonezawa Wagyu beef, tasty cherries, and the great ski area plus hot spring resorts on Mt. Zao. If you have the chance to visit Yamagata Prefecture, be sure not to miss these 5 activities! Ropeway Scenery You can…

Climb the 1000 Steps to Yamagata’s Scenic Hidden Treasure, Yama-dera

Yamagata City is located in a mountainous area where scenic temples can be seen. One of which is located in the city’s northeast area and is known as Yama-dera Temple. It is a Buddhist temple founded over a thousand years ago and has been considered as a nationally-designated Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site.…

Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri: Enjoy the Dances of the Flower Hat Parade!

Yamagata Hanagasa Festival is considered to be one of Tohoku’s major festivals. It primarily centers on the “hanagasa,” which is a hat decorated with artificial flowers worn by adults and children as they parade through the streets of Yamagata City. The very first festival was held in 1964 which makes it relatively new. Every year,…

Zashiki Warashi, A Traditional yet Modernized Japanese Doll

There are a number of old time horror stories lurking in Japanese culture reaching up to present times. Whether these stories are used for intentional purposes or just to pass on to the times, surely many of them are still famous today. One of the famous stories of the Yokai that remains today is the…

A Day at Mount Haguro: Green Soba and a Hot Spring

Ready for a breathtaking adventure? Come to Tsuruoka city in Yamagata Prefecture and climb Mount Haguro. Mount Haguro, or Hagurosan, is a 2,446 stone step mountain that’s part of the 3 sacred mountains in Yamagata Prefecture. While climbing you’ll enjoy amazing views and excellent service. You can climb this mountain all year long, but I…

Visit the Sacred Grounds of Mt Haguro, Yamagata

In the ancient province of Dewa, which is the current Yamagata Prefecture of Japan, a sacred mountain known as “Mount Haguro” lies. It is regarded as one of the “Three Mountains of Dewa”, being the lowest and serving for religious purpose. This is especially important to those who are practicing enlightenment as they need to…