There are three sacred mountains in the nearly center of Yamagata Prefecture.
These are Mount Haguro (414 m), Mount Gassan (1,984 m) and Mount Yudono
Mt. Gassan is the central mountain, and the peak of Mt. Yodono is about 4 km southwest of it.
And Mt. Haguro is a small peak at the foot of Mt. Gassan, and is located about 18 km north of it.
Prince Hachiko saw a god at the top of Mt. Haguro in 593. Then he
performed the ascetic practices at the other two mountains.
Since that, these three mountains became the sacred area.
There are Shinto shrines on each peak of the mountains.
In early autumn, many mountain priests perform the ascetic and hard practices strolling in these mountains for over a week.
located about 13 km east of Tsuruoka city.
There is the "Sanshin-gassaiden" shrine near the peak of the mountain. Because Mt. Gassan and Mt. Yudono is very snowy in winter, these are dedicated to this shrine together.
There are some other buildings and a museum around this ground.
By bus or car, we can reach here directly. But there is an original
approach from the foot of the mountain.
It is a slope about 2 km long, and is through the forest of Japanese cedar which is designated as a special national natural treasure.
And on the way, there is the "five-story pagoda" about 29 meters high
which was built in the 930s and has been designated as a national
Additionally near the entrance of approach, there is "Shozen'in-Koganedou" temple built in 1193, and it is also one of historic spots.
It is a
shield volcano, so has gentle slope.
There is the Gassan Shrine on the top of the mountain.
Of course, this is one of sacred area and the mountain priests visit here for practices.
But it has rich nature, so we can see many alpine plants in summer.
A road reaches the 8th station on the northern slope of this mountain from Mt. Haguro.
Mt. Gassan is opened only from July 1st to September 15th.
also one of sacred mountains, and the most important area is located in
a valley on the north mountainside.
This shrine is very unique.
The god is a big red rock flowing hot water. I hear that it is like one of female parts. There is no temple there, and the god rock is in nature.
When we enter the sacred area, we must walk in bare feet and are forbidden to do a photo shoot. (So I cannot introduce the photo.)
Additionally there is a longstanding rule. "Don't report what you see here to others."
Here is opened from the end of April to November 3rd.