In the past, the Haguro Shugendo provided four opportunities for training, collectively called “shiki no mine” (literally translated as “four seasons’ mountain ridges); namely “spring mine,” “summer mine,” “autumn mine,” and “winter mine.” Among them, the autumn mine and the winter mine are practiced even today. The autumn mine is said to be training for yamabushi (mountain ascetic hermits) from across the country to be reborn. The winter mine has a strong tie with the indigenous faith.

The winter mine refers to the 100-day training for which two local yamabushi are selected from the Toge village in the Haguro Area to be secluded in the mountains from September 24th through New Year’s Eve. The autumn mine is administered by two institutions; one by the Dewa Sanzan Shrine and the other by the Kotakuji Shozen-in Temple.

From an early stage, the Haguro Shugendo opened its door to women, who had been banned from entering the mountains. On the occasion of the autumn mine of the Kotakuji Temple, women are also allowed to enter the mountains; the Dewa Sanzan Shrine administers the miko shugyo, or the mediums’ training, intended only for women, which is offered apart from the regular autumn mine.

In addition to these training sessions, “Rensei Shugyo Dojo,” a three-day two-night session of training and austerity, is hosted by the Dewa Sanzan Shrine. Other sessions include the yamabushi shugyo experience workshop hosted by the Haguro Tourist Association and training sessions offered by shukubo inns.

Various Training Sessions Practiced in the Three Mountains of Dewa

Autumn Mine-iri (Dewa Sanzan Shrine)  7 Days 6 Nights Men only

Period: August 26th – September 1st, every year

Registration Period: May 1st – May 31st

Miko Shugyo (Dewa Sanzan Shrine)  4 Days 3 Nights Women only

Period: September 6th – 9th

Registration Period: early May – August 31st

Autumn Mine-iri (Kotakuji Temple) 8 Days 7 Nights

Period: August 24th – September 1st

Contact: Kotakuji Shozen-in Kogane-do (232 aza Toge, Toge, Haguro-machi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0211; Phone: 0235-62-2380)

Rensei Shugyo Dojo (Dewa Sanzan Shrine)  3 Days 2 Nights

<Dojo 1> early August   <Dojo 2> mid-August

Registration Period: May 1st – May 31st

Yamabushi Training Experience Workshop (Haguro Tourist Association)