Pilgrimage to the sacred mountain that pays homage to the dead, and come to know the blessings of the present world.
Together, Mt. Gassan, Mt. Haguro and Mt. Yudono comprise the Three Mountains of Dewa. The faithful come to Mt. Gassan because it is a sacred place for ascetic Shugendo practices. In addition, the guardian deity and Tsukuyomi (god of the moon in Shinto and mythology) are enshrined in the main hall of Gassan Shrine atop the mountain peak.
The summit of Mt. Gassan affords not only a view of the Shonai Plain, but also a superb vantage of Mt. Chokai, the Asahi-Iide mountain range, faraway Mt. Iwaki, and Hachimantai.
Moreover, this expansive area has been designated a special zone in Bandai-Asahi National Park, and Shonai Town's flower, the Chocolate Lily, and rare alpine plants can be seen blooming here and there.
When the famous poet, Matsuo Basho climbed Mt. Gassan, he penned the poem inspired by the mountain: "The peaks of clouds. Have crumbled into fragments--The moonlit mountain!"
Tourist site details
- Gassan Shrine
- 31 Motosawa, Tachiyazawa, Shonai Town, Higashitagawa-gun, Yamagata Prefecture
- Business hours
- Period open for trekking July 1st -September 15th
- 500 yen/person (fee for purification ritual at the main hall of Gassan Shrine)
- Approx. 2 hrs. on foot from the 8th station (Haguro entrance) on Mt. Gassan
- Contact information
- Dewa Sanzan Shrine
- Telephone no.
- 090-8921-9151 (Gassan Shrine); 0235-62-2355 (Dewa Sanzan Shrine)
- While the mountain is closed, the priests leave the shrine and are not in residence.