Togakushi’s Pilgrimage Route to Okusha Shrine

Trace the footsteps of ancient pilgrims to Togakushi’s five shrines. The legendary Togakushi Kodo trail is a pilgrimage route approximately ten kilometers long that leads to and connects the five sacred shrines of Togakushi. These were established in ancient times and have long been a central part of Japan’s traditional mountain worship. The shrines have been visited by countless herds of pilgrims through the ages.

In recent years, the shrines have become popular as places endowed with mystical power. If you want to learn about the history and culture, we recommend that you trace the same pilgrimage route our ancestors followed. There are many points of interest along the way and nearby. Or you can find plenty of enjoyment simply by walking the trail and breathing in the fresh mountain air and fragrances of the natural environment.

From Ichi no Torii (the departure point for the Togakushi Kodo) to the Okusha shrine entrance, it can take three or four hours depending on the weather, your physical condition, and the routes taken. Direction signage along the trail varies with some sections only featuring Japanese instructions. Please be aware of your location and refer to our English map while walking. Also note the presence of old milestones (“choishi” in Japanese: one “cho” is the equivalent of 109 meters) on the path. In ancient times they served as route distance markers.

The rows of cedars lining the path to the Okusha shrine and the forest that envelops the five shrines of Togakushi, are extremely valuable natural treasures. The Togakushi faith is deeply and inextricably tied to the natural scenery and terrain of Mt. Togakushi (1,904 meters) and its surrounding areas. You can feel the breath of the gods in the pure wilderness, the deep, luxurious forests, and pristine flowing streams.

Follow the ancient path, visit the five shrines, and take in all of the beautiful natural scenery. Come to Togakushi and take a journey of faith while experiencing our rich cultural and natural heritage!