EVENT

Five Story Pagoda Light Up

Written by Timothy Bunting

Five Storied Pagoda Light Up

Compliment those long summer days hiking on the Dewa Sanzan with the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up on Mt. Haguro. Those who have made the pilgrimage to Mt. Haguro in Tsuruoka know that the atmosphere is second to none. During the day, the canopy of cedar trees casts a shadow over the ancient stone stairway leading to Sanjingosaiden Shrine at the top. It is such a harrowing sight that it silenced even the most prolific of Haiku poets, Matsuo Basho, when he visited there in the 1600s. Well, take that atmosphere, and turn it up to 11 with the Mt. Haguro Five Storied Pagoda Light Up.

If you’re still looking for a reason to add the Dewa Sanzan to your bucket list, get out your tabi (ninja shoes), grab your tsue (walking stick), pick up your lantern, and let the fireflies guide you into the night. Once you’ve paid the ¥500 entrance fee, simply follow the path through the Zuishinmon gates, past the Massha shrines, over the Shinkyo Bridge on the Haraigawa River, and up to the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the Five Story Pagoda on Mt. Haguro
Steps to the Dewa Sanzan Mt. Haguro Five Storied Pagoda Light Up at night
The stone stairway of Mt. Haguro of the Dewa Sanzan during the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up

Five Storied Pagoda Light Up Dates for 2019

The Five Storied Pagoda Light Up is on every weekend from July to October and public holidays. If you’re in town on the 14th and 15th of July, also check out the Mt. Haguro Dewa Sanzan Flower Festival. It is also on during the week of Obon (August 10-18). On these nights, the street of Shukubo Pilgrim Lodges adjacent to Zuishinmon will also have lanterns out for an atmospheric walk.

From August 10th to 18th, there is a special Five Story Pagoda Light Up stamp that you can collect. The 12th to the 14th of October is a special pink ribbon event when the pagoda will be lit up pink. And finally, from the 5th to the 27th of October, the path from the Shinkyo Bridge over the Haraigawa River will have rainbow-coloured lighting. So, get out your calendars, mark the following dates, and make the pilgrimage to the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up.

Besides the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up, Mt. Gassan and Mt. Yudono are also open at this time of year if you want to do the pilgrimage of rebirth on the Dewa Sanzan. Although, we don’t recommend going up there at night!

July: 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 27, 28

August: 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31

September: 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29

October: 5, 6, 19, 20, 26, 27

Getting to the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up

The Shukubo Pilgrim Lodge Village on Mt. Haguro during the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up
The Shukubo Pilgrim Lodge Village on Mt. Haguro during the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up
First, you’ll need to make your way to the Zuishinmon gates at the base of Mt. Haguro. For those using public transport, information for busses between Tsuruoka Station and Mt. Haguro and can be found here. Or, you can follow our guide on getting to the Dewa Sanzan. The event starts at the Zuishinmon gates at the base of Mt. Haguro. If you’re staying in a Shukubo, it’s a very short walk. If not, you’ll need to make your way to Mt. Haguro.
The Zuishinmon Gates at the base of Mt. Haguro during the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up
The Zuishinmon Gates at the base of Mt. Haguro during the Five Storied Pagoda Light Up

Local Advice

The five storied-pagoda can only be accessed on the stone stairway, so bring proper walking shoes (or go barefoot even). The entrance fee includes lantern rental, but bring a torch just in case. Neither the committee nor Dewa Sanzan.com is responsible for any injury or accident that occurs. Enter at your own risk.

Location

Mt. Haguro (from Zuishinmon at the bottom)

Dewa Sanzan Mt. Haguro Five Storied Pagoda Light Up at night

Event Details

Date(s):

July to October

Start Time:

6pm in July and August, 5:30pm in September and October

End Time:

8:30pm in July and August, 8pm in September and October

Price:

¥500

Hosted By:

National Treasure Mt. Haguro Five Storied Pagoda Light Up Committee

The Three Peaks of The Dewa Sanzan

Mt. Haguro

Mt. Gassan

Mt. Yudono

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