In July, climbing the trail surrounded by alpine plants from Midagahara, treading on the remaining snow for an hour and half, you will arrive at the hut Busshoike-goya. Here, you will be welcomed with a variety of menu items, including coffee, amazake (sweet sake), soft serve ice cream, chikara-mochi (rice cake), and oden (a hot-pot dish), among many others, to quench your exhausted body! If you bring your own lunch box, you might want to order additionally a warm miso soup. The soup is cooked with “kaminari-dofu,” handmade tofu prepared by the landlord of the hut, which is a very valuable food source in mountains. Another hour and half to go; why don’t you sit down for a little while to regain your stamina before attacking the last slope to the mountain top?
Accommodation is also available here. If you leave the Kanto Region in the morning to take the last bus to Mt. Gassan, you can arrive at the hut at around 4:30 p.m. Considering the journey to the mountaintop, you definitely want to reach a point as close to the summit as possible on the day one. You will be treated with a feast of shojin cuisine using wild mountain vegetables. In the evening and in the morning, just step outside of the hut’s entrance, and you will be able to see the breathtaking sight of the rising and setting sun. At night, you will be definitely satisfied with the magnificent starry sky.
|1 night with 2 meals: 8,400 yen (tax inclusive)
1 night with bedding and no meal: 4,300 yen (tax inclusive)
1 night with no bedding nor meal: 2,800 yen (tax inclusive)
Lunch Box: 650 yen
|Late-June through Late-September
The landlord of the hut, Jumpei Kudo is a young outdoorsman and also runs a diner “Seigen-bo” in downtown Tsuruoka. During the climbing season, Jumpei updates weather information on his blog, which you should not miss out!
The name of the hut comes from the pond located in front of it. The bond used to be called “Busshui-ike” or “Busu-ike” in certain periods, but it is now called “Bussho-ike.”
Worshipers who visited the Three Mountains of Dewa purify themselves at shukubo inns in Mt. Haguro by abstaining from eating meat or drinking alcohol to drop off their foulness of the lower world before heading for Mt. Gassan in the white garments. Passing through Midagahara and arriving at Bussho-ike, they drink their last water from the pond and become truly Buddhas (souls).
As Buddhas, after paying homage at the Gassan Hongu (Main Shrine), they head for the Yudonosan Main Shrine located at Senninzawa. Then, they go back to where they come from as newborns (kami) after receiving the baby’s first bath at the Yudonosan Hongu (Main Shrine). Before, the statue of Amitābha was enshrined in the pond, but it has now been moved closer to the approach to the shrine.
A small shrine located in front of the hut is the Manai Shrine, in which Toyouke-no-hime, the goddess of food and grains, is enshrined. The location of the Manai Shrine in front of the Bussho-ike pond suggests our ancestors’ intention to define the area beyond this to be kami’s realm.