Yatsugatake is located almost in the center of Japan, spanning from Yamanashi to Nagano prefectures that is an excellent adventure field and a mountain resort area, located close to Tokyo, Nagano, and Mt. Fuji.
The beautiful scenery attracts many climbers, and many people visit Yatsugatake every year. In the Edo period (1603-1868), shugenja (修験者: monks who lead an ascetic life in the mountains) practiced asceticism in the mountains, and since the shrines were established at the top of the peaks, people began to worship the Yatsugatake Mountains.
There is an old saying in Yatsugatake that “Yatsugatake was taller than Mt. Fuji that was still active volcano, the god of Yatsugatake, Princess Iwanaga-hime, and the god of Mt. Fuji, Princess Konohana-sakuya-hime, both claimed that their mountains were higher. They quarreled over which mountain was taller and decided to have a back-to-back. One day, the two gods were fighting over which mountain was taller than the other, and they began to compare their heights. In order to stop the fighting, Nyorai-sama, who could not bear to see the two gods fighting, poured water down a pipe from the peak of Mt. Fuji, the water flowed from Yatsugatake to Mt. Fuji, resulting in the saying, “Yatsugatake is higher.
However, Princess Konohana-sakuya-hime, who hated to lose, was not convinced and in a fit of anger, kicked Yatsugatake away. It is said that the kicked-off Yatsugatake split into eight pieces and became the shape we see today, lower than Mt. Fuji.
The legend of Yatsugatake and Mt. Fuji comparing their heights has been passed down to this day among the people living at the foot of the Yatsugatake area.
After the end of the war, Yatsugatake drew attention as a tourist destination, and there was a mountain climbing boom during the 1965s and 1980s. Since then, the number of climbers has decreased as the boom calmed down, but it has gradually increased due to the climbing and health boom and has become a popular spot visited by many people every year.
Here are the links to the two Yatsugatake tours.