With the Yamabushi from Yamagata

In the ancient province of Dewa, there are three sacred mountains that the Japanese pilgrims –Yamabushi (山伏)- have been pacing for centuries.
The yamabushi are traveling monks, traveling from village to village, following the pilgrimage paths leading them to their retreat in the mountains. They are both feared and respected for the magical powers acquired through their asceticism. Their role in the development of Buddhism in the countryside was extremely important because they conveyed a simplified form of it, diminished by the official clergy but had the merit of touching the daily concerns of people.
To honor the gods, they indulge in rituals of purification and bring novices to the mountain.

Daishobo, a pilgrim lodge in the foothills of the three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan is launching Yamabushido, a mountain training program for non-Japanese and international visitors this summer.

For more information please visit: http://yamabushi.jp/