Mount Haguro, Mount Gassan and Mount Yudono, known as the Three Mountains of Dewa, have been revered as sacred mountains for hundreds of years. Travelling to these three mountains is said to be a journey of reincarnation as believers pray for the present on Mount Haguro, for the past on Mount Gassan and for the future on Mount Yudono. A popular proverb goes “a western pilgrimage to Ise Shrine and an eastern pilgrimage to the Three Mountains of Dewa”, and these mountains are a well-known destination for a once in a lifetime visit.
Mount Yudono is the final destination of the pilgrimage where mountain priests come for ascetic Zen practices after performing austere rituals in Mount Gassan and Mount Haguro. As a particularly sacred location there are a number of regulations visitors must observe when visiting Yudonosan Shrine. Photography is not allowed and in order to preserve the shrine’s mystery visitors are prohibited from talking about what they see and hear inside its precincts. The wearing of shoes is not allowed on the shrine’s grounds as the area is regarded as a sacred place separate from the outside world. The barefoot walk along the approach to the shrine gives visitors a feel for the earth’s energy.
There is no main shrine building, instead the object of worship here is a massive ginger-coloured rock spouting hot water. After purifying themselves at the shrine entrance, visitors are finally allowed to face the sacred rock to pray.
Meanwhile, Mount Yudono is known as a lucky location for matchmaking and is nicknamed “the Mountain of Lovers”. Unique good luck charms for romance popular with local women are available from the shrine.
Yudonosan Sanrojo beside the shrine’s main gate offers accommodation with hot spring facilities (reservations are required), day visits are also available. Note that visitors need to make a bow to the altar at the bathhouse before taking a bath!
- Fee for purification ceremony
Junior high school students or older: 500 yen
Elementary students or younger: free
- Opening Times
- Open: From late April to early November
(Closed during heavy snow)
- 30 minutes by car from Gassan IC on Yamagata Expressway
- Car Park
- Parking: 150 spaces available
- Official Website
- The Three Mountains of Dewa
- Mt. Yudono Sanrojo
- Reviews (TripAdvisor)
- Dewasanzan Jinja Shrine
- Telephone Number