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Mt. Gassan

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A hiking trek above the clouds on the Mountain of the Moon

DEGAM Tsuruoka Tourism Bureau



In the western part of Yamagata Prefecture is the Dewa Sanzan, the Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa, a group of mountains composed of Mt. Gassan, Mt. Haguro and Mt. Yudono. The highest of the three mountains is Mt. Gassan (1,984 meters), literally meaning the “Mountain of the Moon”. Also known as the “Mountain of the Dead,” Mt. Gassan is one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains. Its height and cloudy landscapes confer the mountain a mysterious atmosphere that certainly contributed to making people think it was the Ancestors' souls’ realm. Matsuo Basho, a famous haiku poet who traveled to the Dewa Sanzan, wrote a haiku about Mt. Gassan, telling how it looked like it was made out of clouds: “The clouds like a peak / Some crumble into pieces / Mountain of the Moon.” It takes around four hours to climb Mt. Gassan up and three hours to go down for beginners. There are three pilgrim lodges on the mountain if you wish to try yourself at the pilgrim life. To reach Mt. Gassan, take the bus from Tsuruoka Station to Gassan Hachigome.


How to get there


From Tokyo Station to Niigata Station, it is about 1 hour and 45 minutes by Joetsu Shinkansen. 
From Niigata Station to Tsuruoka Station (Inaho Express), it is about 1 hour and 50 minutes.
It is about 1 hour by bus (bound for Gassan Hachigome).


Shonai-machi, Higashitagawa-gun, Yamagata-ken


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