Located on the border with Akita prefecture, Mt. Chokai (2,236 m) is the tallest mountain in Yamagata prefecture and has been selected as one of the Best One Hundred Mountains of Japan. Because of its beauty, it is also called Dewa Fujisan. Dewa is the ancient name for the region, and Fujisan means Mt. Fuji; that is, Mt. Chokai is the Mt. Fuji of the region. Mt. Chokai and Tobishima Island off the coast of the Japan Sea have been designated a quasi-national park and recognized as Mt. Chokai & Tobishima Island Geopark by the Japanese Geoparks Network.
The mountain-climbing route that starts from the Yunodai trailhead in the city of Sakata is a short hike to the summit and is very popular with climbers for the many flowers seen along the way.
■ Period: July–September
■ Access: Approx. 1½ hrs. by car from JR Sakata Station; approx. 1 hr., 10 min. by car via Nihonkai-Tohoku Expy. (Sakata Minato IC)
■ Parking: 120 spaces; parking lot no. 2 can accommodate large vehicles
■ Remarks: Mountain climbing requires the proper equipment/attire.