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Three sacred mountains of Dewa

Three sacred mounains in DewaMap of Three sacred mountains of DewaThere 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 (1,500 m).
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.

Mount Haguro /1/

Mount HaguroIt is 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 treasure.
Additionally near the entrance of approach, there is "Shozen'in-Koganedou" temple built in 1193, and it is also one of historic spots.

Mount Gassan /2/

Mount GassanIt 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.

Mount Yudono /3/

Mount YudonoIt is 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.

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

Route bus

  • To Mount Haguro, from Tsuruoka station, about 50 minutes.
  • To the 8th station on Mount Gassan, from Mount Haguro, 55 minutes.
  • To Mount Yudono, from Tsuruoka station, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.


  • To Mount Haguro, from central Tsuruoka city, about 20 km, 30 minutes.
  • To the 8th station on Mount Gassan, from Mount Haguro, about 20 km, 50 minutes.
  • To Mount Yudono, from central Tsuruoka city, about 40 km, 1 hours.

Sanshin-gassaiden shrine in Mount Haguro
A bell tower near Sanshin-gassaiden shrine
Approach in the forest of Japanese cdar
Five-story pagoda in Mount Haguro
Shozen'in-Koganedou temple
A mountain priest
Mount Gassan
The gate to Mount Yudono

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