Mt Gessan is one of the three mountains in the Dewa Sanzan group, and is located in Tagawa, Yamagata prefecture.
Mt Gessan is 1984m high and stands almost in the middle of Yamagata prefecture. It lies in the northern part of Bandai Asahi National Park and is a treasure house of nature that includes animals, plants and primary forest like beech.
The name of Gessan ('moon mountain') derives from the fact that it appears to be as enormous as a half-moon. The mountain has always been linked to religion and there is a shrine at the top dedicated to Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto, a brother of the goddess Amaterasu-omikami.
The mountain has also been a place for ascetic training. Many practitioners have visited here to worship Gessan-okami, but most of them have not felt ready enough and have gone back. Their route back is still known as the 'Return of Practitioners' although hikers take this road today. Mt. Gessan is a spiritual mountain with great views and alpine plants.
Myodo Waterfall is fed by the waters of the Mogami River, and is located in Yonezawa, Yamagata prefecture. More precisely, the upper part of the Mogami River is called the Matsu River, and the waterfall lies along the course of the Matsu River.
The powerful waterfall can be seen from an observation deck on a hiking course on Mt. Nishi-Gosai. The waterfall is on a precipice and you cannot get much closer to it.
The district is in the mountainous area of Yonezawa. To the west are the Asahi Mountains, to the east are the Ouu Mountains, and the Gosai Mountains are to the south. Yonezawa City lies in the basin formed by these mountains. The 100-ha wetland here is a treasury of alpine plants.
There are some hot springs in the area that are visited by many people all year long. Autumn is especially popular when the leaves around the waterfall turn beautifully red. A 'water' line runs through the red leaves. The sight is a symbol of the headstream.
Mt Kurobegoro (2840m) is in the Hida Mountain Range and is one of Japan's 100 major mountains. It is for intermediate hikers and many hikers visit it throughout the year. The most popular hiking course is the north-south course which takes four days and covers Yakushi, Kurobegoro, Sugoroku mountains and Kamikochi.
Mt Kurobegoro features a large cirque on its north side, which begins beyond the smooth ridge line at Mt Yakushi in the Tateyama Mountain Range, extends along Tarobe plateau and ends at Mt Kitanomata. This cirque, or 'kar', appears as if the mountain side had been scooped away, but was actually eroded by a gracier.
If you are at the bottom of the cirque, the extraordinary atmosphere of the place will make you draw breath. You cannot help but be moved by the natural beauty of the site with its traces of snow, abundant water and alpine flora.
Kurobe Lake is an artificial lake formed by the completion of Kurobe Dam in 1963. It is located near the town of Tateyama in Toyama Prefecture, at the foot of the Japan North Alps.
Meltwater from the North Alps runs into the lake, which is surrounded by original beech forest. The emerald green water is very beautiful with the Tateyama and Ushiro Tateyama mountain ranges reflected on the lake's quiet surface.
At 1448m, the lake offers the highest point in Japan where you can take a cruise. Comfortable cruises are available from 1 June to 10 November. You will be moved by the beauty of the North Alps and the sight of the majestic trees changing through the four seasons. From late September to early October, the beech trees at the shore turn from green to yellow, adding a vivid touch to the mystery of the scenery.
Kurobe Gorge is located between the Tateyama mountains and the Ushiro Tateyama mountains (Mt Hakuba, Mt Kashima-Yariga) in the Japan North Alps. The scale, depth and power of the gorge make it the premier valley in Japan both in name and reality. It has been designated as a Special Natural National Monument and a Special Beauty Spot, and is included in the Joshinetsu Plateau National Park.
Along the valley, there are many places to visit such as Kurobe 'eternal snow', Dashiroppo Peak, Couple Rock and Kurobe Lake formed by Kurobe Dam. The Kurobe Gorge Railway, or Torokko Electric Railway, runs for about 20km from Unazuki to Keyakidaira, and is very popular with tourists. The railcars have open windows, so you can directly enjoy the wonderful natural scenery. The views are especially dynamic in spring, with the fresh green foliage, or in fall, with the red leaves.
Mt Ibuki has an altitude of 1377 meters and is the dominant peak in the Ibuki range. It straddles the border of Gifu and Shiga prefectures. As a peak, it is a part of the Biwako Quasi-National Park.
In ancient times, when Fuwanoseki was built, it was known as Utamakura. The mountain appears frequently in 'Records of Ancient Matters' and 'The Chronicles of Japan'. There is a legend that Yamato Takeru fought Shironu the avatar of the mountain and was wounded. When recovering from his injuries, Takeru stayed in Shimizu, a town located at the foot of the range.
On February 14, 1927, snow fell to a world-record-breaking height of 11.82m. In the ancient records mentioned above, changes in the weather were attributed to a 'god of nature'.
Nowadays, Mt Ibuki is a sightseeing spot. From the foot of the mountain to its peak, there are various alpine meadows. Mt Ibuki is listed as one of the Japan's 100 Best Mountains. From spring to summer, people enjoy hiking and trekking, and in winter they come to ski.
Located to the east of Mikuriga Lake, Midoriga Lake is a crater lake on the Murodou plains, which is a lava area surrounded by three mountains: Yuzan, Bessan and Jo-dosan.
Midoriga Lake formed in the crater left by an erupting volcano. At 1.6m deep, the water is quite shallow and rocks on the bottom can be clearly seen.
The transparent water reflects the beautiful scenery of the mountain ranges. The real mountains balanced by their reflected image makes an artistic composition. In seasons when lingering snow or fall foliage can be seen, the beauty of the reflected image increases.
By the sides of the lake, the pathways connecting with Mikuriga Lake and Jigoku valley are filled with hikers and sighteers throughout the year. In this area, there are also many alpine as well as water-loving plants such as Fauria crista-galli and Pedicularis chamissonis var. japonica, which is pretty enough for visitors to enjoy when in flower.
The Tateyama Mountain Range (Renpo) is a group of mountains that are an average of 3000 meters high. Tateyama-renpo is the all-inclusive term for the mountain range to the west of the Kokubu River in the Northern Alps. The southern side goes as far as Mount Kitanomata and Mount Kurobegoro, which is situated on the edge of Gifu prefecture. Moreover, the northern and southern ranges are linked to Mount Mitsumatarenge.
The fantastic alpine scenery can be enjoyed from trains, alpine buses, trolley buses, cable cars and cableways. There is an endless stream of visitors throughout the year.
In spring, the Tateyama Kokubu alpine route is opened and anyone can enjoy the 20m-high walls of snow lining it. In summer, the climate is cooler than in the plains and is perfect for trekking and hiking. At this time, the lake reflects the magnificent view of the ranges. In autumn, the fall foliage is beautiful. In winter, the ranges turn completely white and it is the most beautiful period of the year here. In late November, the sight of the first snow is beautiful.