Visitors can find Dewa Sanzan shojin-ryori at priests’ quarters located on the peak of Mt. Haguro and at temple guesthouses in the village of Toge at the skirts of Mt. Haguro.
Mt. Haguro Sanrojo Saikan (shrine lodging)
Climb sannosaka, the third steep slope and you’ll see the priest’s quarters on the left, near the mountaintop. Originally Kezo Temple, today it has a worship hall for priests. The entrance was created in the Momoyama Period (1583–1600), and the building was constructed during the separation of Buddhism and Shintoism in the Meiji Period (1868–1912). It has a wonderful view of Mt. Chokai in the distance, and the meal served in the silence of the priest’s quarters is a moving experience in a sublime setting. Today, the general public is also allowed to lodge there and can enjoy the shojin-ryori that was so highly praised for its flavors in France and Hungary.
33 aza Hagurosan, Toge, Haguro-machi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0211;
Meals: 1,650 yen (5 dishes), 2,200 yen (7 dishes), 3,300 yen (10 dishes), 5,500 (11 dishes);
ingredients used vary, depending on the season;
meals and lodging are by reservation only, so please plan in advance.
Shukubo (Temple & Shrine Lodgings)
The village of Toge at the foot of Mt. Haguro is lined with temple guesthouses. They welcome visitors (pilgrims) to Dewa Sanzan from throughout Japan, provide mountain guidance, and serve as the starting point for the Dewa Sanzan faith journey. The guesthouses provide shojin-ryori, white robes, and a place to purify the body before entering the mountains. These cultural facilities embody and communicate the culture of Dewa Sanzan, and evoke an atmosphere that speaks of the area’s history. The Buddhist priests are Haguro yamabushi who have passed on the traditions over many generations, and the shojin-ryori prepared by the mistress of the guesthouse is superb. These temple guesthouses offer a special experience not found elsewhere.