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A sense of accomplishment: the only motivation needed

Today as we got up and headed to Sanjingosaiden, Dewa Sanzan Shrine, the outside was completely white. I love Mt. Haguro once all the trees have lost their leaves because it means we get to see quite far. We also took a path down the mountain which is a bit unconventional, I would say less than 1% of visitors to Mt. Haguro use this path.

This meant that we could get a really good view of some parts of the mountain that you can never get to see. For example, we could see the Buchudo, a special building used during Yamabushi training. I had never seen it from that angle before, it is always covered in trees.

We also got to see Minamidani, the southern valley of Mt. Haguro, covered in white. There were still yellow leaves on the trees, and it was quite something to witness. This place is mystical just by itself, but being able to see it at this time of year only amplified the mysticism.

Today we experienced climbing down a mountain covered in snow, in the middle of a thunderstorm. There were times when the snow actually stung as it hit us it was that heavy. I have to say I did not expect that, although with Mt. Haguro at this time of year, truly anything is to be expected.

You have to be a little crazy, and you have to be willing to try new things to be able to do what we did today. Before you begin, you think it’s going to be tough, but then you remember that there is a real sense of accomplishment once you finish. Sometimes that’s all the motivation you need to do something crazy like this.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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