(月山) Gassan Hike


Today is August 2020, and I have realized that schedule wise, this is only doable for me next year - so writing the fruit of my research and will revisit this again.

Budget: JPY6,470 (~USD61)
  • JPY2,600. Train, Yamagata Station to Tsuruoka Station.
  • JPY2,100. Bus, Tsuruoka Station to Hachigome.
  • JPY600. Bus, Hijiori-onsen to Shinjou Station.
  • JPY1,170. Train, Shinjou Station to Yamagata.
Hike Date / Difficulty (Elevation: 1,984m / 6,509ft)
  • August 2021
  • Difficulty:
  • Route below is around 24.0kilometers, with an elevation change of ▲1,322m/ ▽2,414m
  • Map Link


When to Go
Buses from Hachigome run from July to August, but throughout the year for Hijiori-onsen. Not sure if it'll be safe though.

Special Notes
  • Weather Check: Japanese / English.
  • Mountain huts.
    • Paid. 仏生池小屋. In between Hachigome and the summit. Open late-June to mid-September, reservations via 090-8783-9555. JPY3,300 if you bring your own sleeping bag, no meals. JPY4,950 if you use their beddings. Drinking water not available, so they sell pet bottles at JPY500 for 500ml.
    • Paid. 頂上小屋. Right at the summit. Open late-June to mid-September, reservations via 090-8781-7731. JPY6,380 (5,800+ taxes) per head.
    • Free. 念仏ヶ原避難小屋. In between the summit and Hijiori-onsen.
  • Trailheads. Quite a bit, and surprising most of them have public transport access.
    • Ubasawa (姥沢口). There is a bus from Yamagata Station, though it requires a transfer. JPY1,690, 2 hours 15 minutes one way. The earliest one leaves at 7:23 am and gets there at 9:34am. Check the updated schedule here before going.
      • 07:23am -> 09:34am
      • 10:28am -> 12:10pm
      • 01:08pm -> 03:05pm
      • 03:43am -> 05:27pm
    • Hachigome (月山八合目). There is a bus from Tsuruoka Station (鶴岡駅) (bus stop 1). Buses only run from July to August.
      • Tsuruoka Station is about a 3 hour train from Yamagata Station, or a 2 hour one from Kisakata Station (if continuing from Mt. Chokai).
      • Buses to Hachigome run daily for July and just for weekends on August, JPY2,100 one way. However, the schedule changes so check here. For now, here's what we have (for 2020, which is an exceptional case due to covid19)
        • 07:02am -> 09:15am
        • 12:57pm -> 03:15pm
      • Buses from Hachigome to Kisakata Station as follows:
        • 09:30am -> 11:47am
        • 03:45pm -> 05:50pm
    • Yudunosan (湯殿山登山口). Not really public transport, but a form of access is here from Tsuruoka Station (鶴岡駅). No shuttles for 2020, but there's a car JPY3,500/person one way, minimum of 2 people.
    • Hijiori-onsen (肘折温泉). There's a bus from Shinjou Station (新庄駅前).
      • Shinjou Station is about 1.5 hours train from Yamagata Station.
      • Bus to Hijori Onsen runs throughout the year except for January 1, access here. There are four buses over the weekends and holidays (JPY600 one way):
        • 11:15am -> 12:10pm
        • 01:45pm -> 02:40pm
        • 03:45pm -> 04:40pm
        • 06:05pm -> 07:00pm
Itinerary
For this itinerary, I am planning to hike from Hachigome Station, summiting, and descending via Hijiori-onsen. 
Day 1
  • 07:02am. Bus, Tsuruoka Station to Hachigome.
  • 09:15am. ETA: Hachigome.
  • 09:30am. Start hike.
  • 11:30am. Summit.
  • 02:10pm. ETA: Emergency hut. Stay there for the night.
Day 2
  • 06:00am. Start descent.
  • 10:20am. ETA: Hijiori-onsen. Rest at onsen.
  • 11:15am. Bus. Hijiori-onsen to Shinjou Station.

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