The Shojin Ryori of the Yamabushi


Spend the night in the heart of the sacred Dewa Sanzan Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture at the temple lodging of Saikan on Mt. Haguro.


Here you will stay in a former temple built in the late 1,600s that now is the most famous restaurant for the shojin ryori of the Yamabushi mountian monks who have trained on this mountain of over 1,200 years.  


Waking up early in the morning, you will join the chefs of Saikan for a short trek into the forest where you will harvest a variety of seasonal mountain vegetables before taking them back to Saikan to prepare them in the shojin ryori with the chefs.  

Quick Info:

Event Date(s)                                                                                              Year Round, See Below

Activity Length                                                                                                       2 Days 

Activity Time                                                                                            About 1 hour of harvesting 

Venue                                                                                                 Saikan at the top of Mt. Haguro

Price                                                                                                                  from 30,000 yen/person

You will begin this program checking into Saikan at the top of Mt. Haguro at a time we prearrange with the lodge upon booking this tour

After checking into your rooms, you will enjoy an extravagant meal of Shojin Ryori served by Shinkichi Ito, the head chef of Saikan and the leading expert in the preservation and continued innovation of this sacred cuisine of the Dewa Sanzan Mountains.  

You will then spend a relaxing night in Saikan with the sounds of the deep forest around you and are also free to explore the halls and onsen baths of this beautiful building. 

The next morning you will meet you guide at Saikan who will accompany you with the chefs of Saikan for a walk into the forests around this lodge to harvest a variety of seasonal mountain vegetables called sansai.  


Note that the types of vegetables we can harvest depends entirely on the season.  

We recommend the months of June to July for the fresh green of the early summer, but you can also enjoy drastically different vegetables like mushrooms in the Fall.  

The one exception to this is the winter time where we can instead visit the storehouse of Saikan to work with a variety of special preservation techniques used to serve these mountain vegetables.  During this time we will be able to enjoy special Sansai that is only served in the winter and also cook them in the kitchen together. 

See below for a video we made demonstrating the harvesting and cooking experience in the early summer. 

Reservations and Important Notes

-This tour is available year-round and activity times are flexible.

-This activity level of this experience can be adjusted to the guests. 

-Small children and elderly guests able to walk may also take part in the harvesting.

-Note that during certain times of the year harvesting is not possible and we will instead work with specially preserved Sansai.

-This tour goes outdoors, so please dress accordingly for the weather and wear comfortable shoes or boots. 

We will provide detailed access information tailored for each group. 

Every tour is personally arranged with Chef Ito, please send us an email with the following points to make a reservation.  


-Desired Date 

-Number of guests 

-Dietary Restrictions or other needs 

Please send you inquiries in our contact form here.