Magical Mountains


When we think of the perfect location for extreme sports, we usually go for the obvious; a typical beach setting for surfing; the snowiest of mountains for skiing and snowboarding and the commonly used trekking routes which have been walked on by millions of feet before our own.

However, there are ‘hidden gems’ all over the world, and one of those is the little known Yamagata.   A prefecture of Japan’s Tohoku region on Honshu Island, it is extremely popular with Japanese natives who are looking to spot rare wildlife, as well as being a hotly tipped location to visit for extreme sports. During winter, Yamagata’s Zao Resort turns in to a snow sports mecca; the stunning Dewa Sanzan Mountains provide an unspoilt trekking area to discover hidden hot springs, as well as having the opportunity to try spelunking, which is essentially a cool word for cave exploration.

A Pagoda in Dewa mountains

The Snow Monsters in Zao

The coolest part about this area of Japan is that during the sixteenth century, a prince escaped to the peaks of Dewa Sanzan after the death of his Father.  Once settled, he developed a new religion known as ‘’Yamabushi’’.  This religion claimed that its followers and those who sleep in the mountains have magic powers.  Members of the religion still exist there today, in white robes and black hats, carrying conch shells to stir the mountain gods.  We think you’ll agree, that really is a great story to accompany you as you enjoy your favourite past times in this breathtakingly magical setting.

Ginzan Hot springs

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