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Mt. Gassan

Yamagata

Enjoy a variety of alpine plants, skiing in summer, and other activities unique to Gassan

Mount Gassan is a peak in the range of the Three Dewa Mountains (together with Mount Haguro and Mount Yudono) in the Shonai area, Yamagata. The 1984 m-tall volcano situated at the center of Yamagata is famous for being worshiped by practitioners of Shugen-do, who walk in mountains to train their mind.

Many worshippers visit Gassan Shrine, on the mountain's summit, including Shugendo practitioners. Matsuo Basho, one of the most famous haiku poets of Japan, traveled around the country nearly 400 years ago and visited the mountain and wrote haiku.

As Mount Gassan is situated in one of the snowiest areas on the Japan Sea coast, you can enjoy skiing even in summer. Downhill skiing while looking out over the beautiful landscape from the slope in summer is wonderful. Some people enjoy skiing lightly dressed. There are many different ways to enjoy the mountain, such as snow trekking from January to early April, snow and fresh, green beech trees from May to June, about 350 kinds of unique flowers and other alpine plants from June to August, and fall leaves from September to October. The mountain is lower than 2000m but you can encounter many alpine plants and see a breathtakingly beautiful vista from the peak.

Information

Address: Tsukiyamazawa, Nishimurayama-gun Nishikawa-machi, Yamagata
Phone: 0237-74-4119 (Gassan Asahi Tourist Association)
Directions: Train: 40 minutes by car from Sagae Station on the JR Aterazawa Line (3 hours from Tokyo Station)
Car: 20 minutes from Gassan Interchange on the Yamagata Expressway

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