|Q.||Is the training open to both men and women?|
|A.||Yes. We actively encourage women to join our trainings, and the Japanese version of the training often has a majority of women.|
|Q.||What level of fitness do I need?|
|A.||The training involves vigorous hiking over multiple days, but is not as intense as rock climbing. The furthest you will hike in one day is 8 kilometres (5 miles) from an elevation of 1450m (4750ft.) to 1984m (6500ft.) over 9 hours.|
|Q.||What language support is there?|
|A.||The experience is mostly non-verbal, and conducted in silence, but basic instructions and support will be given in English by the support guide throughout the training.|
|Q.||Is this a religious experience?|
|A.||No. We expect all our visitors to be respectful of the practices that we teach, but people from all faiths, and none, are all welcome to take part.|
|Q.||What do I need to bring?|
Participants are required to bring suitable footwear (hiking boots or sturdy trainers), full rain gear (waterproof jacket and trousers), and base layers such as white t-shirts. We also ask that you bring your own sturdy drink bottle or hydration pack, however bottles of water will be provided.
Participants are responsible for their own warmth and can feel free to put on or take off extra clothes whenever they need. Please be aware that the mountains can get extremely cold even in the height of summer. That is why we require participants to bring warm layers to wear if necessary.
We will provide you with the Shiroshozoku garments used during the training, including the loincloth for men, and a white backpack. Participants are allowed to keep their Shime necklace, and loincloth when training ends. For our Masters Training, participants will be given the white Jikatabi shoes to keep.
Female participants are recommended to wear a swimsuit on days that we do waterfall meditation. This is to protect your privacy, and to make it easy for you to change out of wet clothing. A two-piece swimsuit is to make it easier to walk in.
|Q.||How do I get there?|
|A.||Directions can be found on this page. We are happy to assist with travel arrangements.|
|Q.||What time should I arrive?|
The latest possible train before your training leaves Tokyo at 6:08am, and arrives in Tsuruoka at 10:18am.
The latest possible flight before your training is ANA Flight 395, leaving Tokyo Haneda at around 11am (the flight time fluctuates), arriving in Shonai around 12pm. Please double-check that your flight is from Tokyo Haneda Airport, NOT Tokyo Narita Airport.
We recommend arriving in Japan as early as possible to minimize the effects of jet lag. We are happy to arrange accommodation for you in Tsuruoka at your own cost if you wish to come earlier.
|Q.||What time can I leave?|
Of course, we would like you to stay behind to check out other parts of the Shonai region after your training, however the earliest possible train back to Tokyo is at 4:17pm, arriving in Tokyo at 8:12pm. The earliest flight back to Tokyo from Shonai is ANA 400, leaving at around 5:45pm, and arrives at around 6:45pm (the flight time fluctuates).
We are also happy to arrange accommodation for you in Tsuruoka at your own cost should you wish to stay in the region longer.
|Q.||What if I have dietary concerns?|
|A.||We need all participants to let us know in advance of dietary limitations. If you have a requirement, let us know so we can try to organise something special for you.|
|Q.||What are the rules for training?|
During training, participants are not allowed to say anything besides 'Uketamo' (I accept). Also, there are no cellphones, no watches, and participants are not allowed to read, write, shave, or brush their teeth. This is all to follow the ancient rules of the Yamabushi and help you focus on being in the moment.
Your safety is our first priority. We require all participants to let us know in advance of their allergies and other health concerns. We take all precautions necessary to avoid any problems. If participants start to feel unwell during training, they are instructed to let one of the Yamabushi guides know.
|Q.||Where will we stay?|
|A.||Yamabushido trainings are based at Daishobo Pilgrim Lodge at the base of Mt. Haguro run by Master Hoshino. For our Masters’ Training, the first night will be in a Zen temple. During stays in Daishobo, you will be given a futon and sleep on the floor.|
Options and customized experiences are also available.