Mountain massifs with three distinct peaks are called Sanzan in Japanese – 'san' meaning three and 'zan' meaning mountain (a different reading for the Kanji for 'yama'). The Houou Sanzan includes the three peaks of Yakushidake (2,780m), Kanondake (2,840m), and Jizoudake (2,764m). The mountain is also simply known as Houousan.
Houousan lies at the northern end of the South Alps or Akaishi Range, in Yamanashi Prefecture, near Kofu City. There are three main access routes: the five to six hour hike up from Yashajin Pass (bus service from Kofu Station starting at the end of April through to the end of October); the 4-hour steep climb up from Hirogawara (further up the road from Yashajin Pass and thus with bus service not starting until June); and a route from a mineral spring on the north side. There are two or three other lesser used routes as well, and a route that connects to Aseyomine and Kai Komagatake.
Houousan is a mountain revered by Buddhists, hence the very Buddhist names of the three peaks. The mountain is interesting for a few reasons. First, it is a Hyakumeizan – one of Japan’s 100 Famous Mountains; second, around the peaks of Yakushi and Jizou there are many tors – eroded and weathered boulders of granite; third, the mountain offers great views of the famous northern peaks of the South Alps, Mt. Fuji, Yatsugatake, and the Okutama Chichibu Mountains; and fourth, it was one of the mountains climbed by the famous Rev. Walter Weston, who is said to be the father of mountaineering (climbing mountains for leisure) in Japan.
There are lodges and tent sites located near the main peaks. It is not a difficult mountain to climb and the scenery is beautiful.
|Best months for climbing:||May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct|
|Nearest major airport:||Narita, Kansai|
|Convenient Center:||Kofu City|
Thanks to Peter Skov for adding this peak.
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