Yamabushi hiking

Hiking with a Yamabushi Monk


Immerse yourself in the mystic world of Japanese mountain monks or yamabushi in this unique activity – hiking a pilgrimage trail through the lush forests in the mountains of Nagano.

Deeply tied with religion, Iiyama’s Mt. Kosuge is one of the three most sacred places in Nagano for shugendo (Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism). Established more than 1300 years ago, mountain ascetics called yamabushi stayed on the mountain for spiritual training, creating an area now known as Kosuge village. This exclusive opportunity gives you the chance to hike with a genuine modern-day yamabushi through a cedar-lined forest trail to the Inner Shrine, a 400 year-old sacred site on the mountain.

An interpreter will be accompanying the hike so participants can talk to the yamabushi and ask questions. For a further chance to delve deeper, there’s also the option of a hot pot dinner with him during the evening – the perfect way to end an extraordinary day.

This unique experience is perfectly matched with a stay in Into Japan’s own beautifully restored property, The Kura.