Shizu was established in 1611, and celebrated its 400thanniversary in 2011. As worshiping Mt. Yudono Shrine became popular in modern times, the number of travelers who use the Rokujurigoe-kaidou, an ancient road connectingShonai region to the interior area of Yamagata Prefecture,increased dramatically. In 1867, many of the 20,000 annual guests were worshipers. In the Meiji era, the number of guests decreased to less than half, along with the dwindling number of worshipers, as a result of the governmental order to separate Shinto and Buddhism. Based on the regional history, after the number of worshipers of Dewa Sanzan (Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa) declined, summer skiing in Mt. Gassan attracted much attention in the 1960s, and Shizu has been known as a tourist destination for ski visitors. Kazue Shida, Tsutaya’s former manager, was the pioneer of summer skiingin Mt. Gassan. His goal was to maintain Mt. Gassan in the town of Nishikawa, and thus devoted himself to setting up mountain trails and shelters. He aimed at finding new attractive points of Mt. Gassan to maintain the village of Shizu, where the number of worshipers declined. Within two decades, worshipers’ lodging became ski enthusiasts’ inns and hotels with hot spring. Shida’s thoughts are kept in our hearts, and we keep the hotel as a place that “expresses the attractive points of Mt. Gassan.” Tsutaya aims to be a historical and a cultural center in this region.
Patchworks and tapestries out of natural materials are all handmade products, and the goods displayed in our hotel are selected personally by the hotel manager’s wife. There is no clock in the hotel, except at the front desk, because we would like our guests to feel relaxed without being bothered by time. Moreover, we would like all our guests to feel the light, voices of birds and insects, and the sounds of rain, wind, and snow in this wilderness. Outdoor lamps will be turned off early at the days of full moon so that guests will enjoy the moonlight. You will find fun and comfortable way to spend time here.
Somemay sit on a chair by a window and watch the snow, read books at our library corner, or walk around Goshikinuma, a picturesque pond. Others may trek through beech forests, explore the history of Dewa Sanzan, or visit the hotel to sleep and bring his/her own pillow, saying “I can sleep well here.”
We also host various events, suggesting ways to spend time at Tsutaya and Mt. Gassan. We will take you to star tours at nightwhen the sky is clear and full of stars. We will take you to firefly viewing during the seasons in which fireflies glow. We will guide you in visiting Mt. Yudono in the morning of June to October. During winter, we will make snow huts and enjoy a cup of tea. These are fun memories from our childhood. We would like our guests to experience Mt. Gassan the same way we have experienced it. Tsutaya acts as an origin of your enjoyment.
We pick you up at GASSAN-Guchi(月山口) when you take a highway bus from Yamagata station. It’s about 10 minutes to get to TSUTAYA.