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MT. GASSAN

月山

THE MOUNTAIN OF THE MOON

1984m. high

1/7

      Mount Gassan, the oldest mountain of the Dewa Sanzan, the highest of the three mountains, has been the core of the Dewa Sanzan's mountain worshipping practices since the beginning. Even though many people think of Mt. Haguro when talking about the Dewa Sanzan, the oldest mention of the Dewa Sanzan in historical writings talks about a  "Gassan Shrine," built between 712 and 773, proof it was worshipped before the two other mountains in time.

The Shinto deity worshipped on Mt. Gassan is Tsukiyomi 月読命, the incarnation of the moon

 

Who is Tsukiyomi?

The founder god of Japan: Izanagi had a wife. His wife died when giving birth to the Fire god. Izanagi went to see his beloved wife in the afterworld, but his soul got stained by the impure view of his wife's rotten corpse. To cleanse his sins away, he bathed in holy water. After he cleaned his left eye, the Sun Goddess: Amaterasu was born. After he cleaned his right eye: the Moon God was born: Tsukiyomi. He ordered Tsukiyomi to reign over the world of the night and the world of the Dead.

Later, Tsukiyomi killed the god of crops: Ukemochi no kami (保食神). The Sun Goddess (Amaterasu), angry at her brother, punished Tsukiyomi to live in a different space than her. This is when days and nights began to be separated. In order to expiate his fault, Tsukiyomi promised to help agriculture on Earth. 

This is why the god of the moon is often associated with crops and food. Tsukiyomi is the god that rules upon the night, the world of the Dead and that protects agriculture.

Climbing map

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HIKING SEASON:

JULY 1st - LATE OCTOBER

DON'T MISS THE BUS!

If you want to go to Mt. Gassan  with the public transportations, you will need to get off at Gassan Hachigome 月山八合目.

IT'S A RELIGIOUS PLACE...

We welcome all kinds of hikers! However, we would like you to remember this is a sacred place and that you should be considerate of the people around you, do not be too loud and do not litter. Thank you!

COME WITH THE APPROPRIATE GEAR !

It might be hot in Tsuruoka City, but up there, it is very cold! Please bring warm jackets, raincoats, hiking boots and sunglasses with you.

Gassan tours

Yamabushi guided tours

1 night 2 days plan  (Transportation, lodging and meals included)

Pilgrim lodge

reservations

HIKING GASSAN

3 to 4.5 hours up

2 to 3.5 hours down

STEP

1

Get off at Gassan Hachigome bus station. Use the toilet before beginning your climb. Don't forget to leave 100 yen in the donation box if you use the toilet. It'll help keep the toilet clean.

STEP

4

You'll arrive to Gassan Sanrojo's pilgrim lodge and to Midahara Shrine (御田原神社).

STEP

7

You arrive at Busshoike Goya pilgrim lodge. You can buy drinks, have lunch or buy some snacks. If it's getting dark, you can sleep there for the night.

STEP

10

You arrived in Gassan's summit. Congratulations! It usually takes less time to climb down Gassan, but don't attempt if it's too dark. Stay in Gassan Chojo Goya for the night and go back to the parking lot the next morning.

STEP

2

Follow the wooden track.

10 min.

STEP

5

Walk past the torii

20 min.

STEP

8

Continue your walk to the top

70 min.

STEP

3

You come across the Midagahara marshes (弥陀ヶ原湿原)

5 min.

STEP

6

The wooden track stops. The stones can be instable so please watch your steps.

70 min.

STEP

9

You get back on wooden tracks

20 min.

WHERE TO STAY?

You fear you'll miss the bus back to Tsuruoka? It's safer to stay in one of the hotels, ryokan, or guesthouses in the area.

Busshoike Goya

Halfway to the top

Address:

月山佛生池小屋

Shimizujiri-12-6 Tamugimata, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0532, Japan

1 night, 2 meals:

9350

Gassan-Chojo Goya

At the top

Address:

月山頂上小屋

六十里山7 Tamugimata, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0532, Japan

1 night, 2 meals:

9900

Gassan Sanrojo

At the start of the climb

Address:

月山参篭所

Nanatsudaki-135 Tamugimata, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0532, Japan

1 night, 2 meals:

8640

DEGAM Tsuruoka Tourism Bureau (General Incorporated Association)

Address: 3-1 Suehiromachi, MARICA East Building, 2nd floor, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0015, JAPAN

TEL: (+81) 0235-26-1218

E-mail: tsuruoka@degam.jp

Spoken languages:

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