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Your Gateway to the Dewa Sanzan

"Dewa Gateway" is the gateway for first-time visitors to the Dewa Sanzan. Rather than simply providing general tourist information, "Dewa Gateway" provides insights about the region’s traditions passed down from our ancestors, and is a gateway connecting everyday lives with a sacred land where an active faith still lives.

Sharing this knowledge is all in an effort to make your experience on the Dewa Sanzan much more worthwhile.

Protecting and passing on handed down traditions of the Dewa Sanzan

The Dewa Sanzan

©︎Haguro Tourist Association

The sacred Dewa Sanzan, a genuine example of Shinto-Buddhist fusion.

The Dewa Sanzan is the collective term for the three sacred mountains of the former Dewa Province, Mt. Haguro, Mt. Gassan, and Mt. Yudono. Together, these mountains are one of the most sacred locations representative of the Shugendo belief in Japan.

Japan is a mountainous country, with mountains accounting for more than 70% of the terrain. Mountains have been a central part of Japanese lives from the time of our oldest ancestors, supporting our lives and livelihoods in innumerous ways. Mountains provide a source of water, create gathering sites for flora and hunting grounds for fauna, and are landmarks for fishers to get their bearings. At the same time, mountains have sometimes threatened our lives with devastating volcanic eruptions and landslides. It’s on these very mountains that the existence of kami and buddha were superimposed. Through mountain worship in the mountains one can acquire special powers called Genriki. Genriki can then be used to help those in need.

One of the major features of Shugendo is Shinbutsu-konko, the fusion of Shinto and Buddhism. This mixing of Shinto and Buddhism existed for almost one thousand years up until the Meiji period (1868-1912). The Meiji government, which aimed to build a nation centered on Shinto, separated Shinto and Buddhism. Shugendo, which embodied a fusion of Shinto and Buddhism, was prohibited. As a result, the sacred lands following Shugendo around Japan faced many hardships. However, the Dewa Sanzan overcame these difficult times and continues to be worshiped the same way it was before the Meiji period.

  • Learn more

Guide

  • Dewa Sanzan Shrine of Mt. Haguro Year round
  • Mt. Gassan Shrine July 1st - September 15th
  • Mt. Yudono Shrine June 1st - November 1st
  • Haguro-Gassan road End of June - End of October
  • Mt. Yudono toll road April 29th - November 3rd

A downloadable pdf map is available with information on popular places, shrine locations, and parking lots etc.

For access options, please see this page.

  • Keep your pet(s) leashed.

  • Use restrooms before entering the mountain.

  • Watch out for falling snow and tree branches.

  • No smoking.

  • Plant collection prohibited.

Guide to Toge

About us

Bringing you the unique culture of the Dewa Sanzan that is alive in us.

The Dewa Sanzan Monzenmachi Project was formed by volunteers from near and far with the aim of reassessing the value of the Dewa Sanzan in the current and future society, and creating a way to support a sustainable local community.

Since our founding in 2017, we have worked hard to contribute to many aspects of the Dewa Sanzan such as events supporting the local community, helping to preserve the cedar trees of Mt. Haguro, and bringing in more visitors from overseas.

Through these, we came to realize that learning from the history of the Dewa Sanzan, honoring the wishes of the ancestors, and passing both on to the future generations is how we can truly do something remarkable for the local community.

We turn our attention to those who have offered their prayers to the Dewa Sanzan, those who have taken on the history and traditions of the local community, and those who are currently preserving and passing them on, and endeavor to tell the world about it.

We wish to continue these activities alongside the Dewa Sanzan community starting with the Toge area of Mt. Haguro.

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