Mt. Yudono (湯殿山)
A 1,500 meter tall sacred mountain located in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture which is famously known as a center for the Shugendo syncretic faith and which is also viewed as the inner sanctuary of the Dewa Sanzan, the three sacred mountains of Dewa. Yudonosan-jinja Shrine, a Shinto shrine located at the foot of the mountain, draws the eye with its huge red torii gate; the shrine's object of worship is a large reddish-brown boulder with a mystical aura from which warm water wells. The mountain is a magical place and since ancient times it has been believed that one must neither speak of one's experiences on the mountain nor ask others about theirs. The Yudonosan Ski Area is also located on the mountain; boasting a ski slope on which you can slide unimpeded for 2,000 meters, this popular winter resort is frequented by families and others looking to enjoy skiing and snowboarding.
- Mt. Yudono Course: This trail heads toward Mt. Gassan peak from the Yudonosan Sanrojo via Shozokuba, Kinkiro, and Ushikubi. The trail climbs 1,050 meters, and since it is quite difficult there are few climbers. There is a bus stop about five minutes' walk from Yudonosan-jinja Shrine. The shrine grounds are under a Don't speak, don't listen rule, and photography/video are strictly forbidden. The climbing trial is well maintained, and there is little worry of getting lost as long as you pay attention at the junctions. There are three iron ladders around the Gakkosaka midway through, so climbers are suddenly elevated 250 meters. There is no trail to the summit of Mt. Yudono in winter, so people often use skis to glide over the deep snow.
Information Sources: NAVITIME JAPAN