Mountain Asceticism in Nara and Yamagata & Tokyo Bay's Only Uninhabited Island
Our correspondent makes a spiritual, 1-day pilgrimage to Mt. Yudono, Yamagata Pref., led by a yamabushi monk of the Shugendo mountain faith. Dorogawa Onsen, at the foot of Mt. Omine, Nara Pref. – another yamabushi pilgrimage location – is a rest town for yamabushi before they head for their ascetic training. Inns along the streets evoke images of yesteryear, and the canyons and caves are fun to explore. And, walk the passages, tunnels and ruins of a fortress on Sarushima, an uninhabited island.

Tokyo Bay's Only Uninhabited Island

Reporter: Xiaoyu Cui
Access
1 hr by train from Tokyo Sta. to Yokosuka-chuo Sta., then 10 mins by ferry

BBQ: Every day from May through November
Weekends from December through February
Beach: Open mid-July through end of August

Mountain Asceticism in Yamagata

Correspondent: Derek Yamashita
Access
4 hrs by train from Tokyo Sta. to Tsuruoka Sta.
1 hr by bus to Dewa Sanzan

Yamabushi Mountain Monk Training on Mt. Yudono
Operated by Dewa Sanzan Jinja
Conducted from April through early November

A Yamabushi Rest Town in Nara

Reporter: Melinda Antaramian

Access
1 hr 40 mins by train from Osaka Sta. to Shimoichiguchi Sta., then 1 hr 20 mins by bus to the Dorogawa Onsen district
From Dorogawa-onsen bus stop
- 50 mins on foot to the demarcation gate for women
- 30 mins on foot to Hahakodo
- 30 mins on foot to Kajika Falls
- 25 mins on foot to Gorogoro Water
- 1hr 30 mins on foot to Mitarai Canyon
- 5 mins on foot to Meisui Tofu Yamaguchiya
- 2 mins on foot to Menfudo Cave
- 5 mins on foot to Ryusen-ji
- 5 mins on foot to Zeniya Shokakudo
- 5 mins on foot to Hanaya Tokubei

Omine Yamabushi Experience
Available May through September
(Contact the Dorogawa Onsen Visitor Center)