is a small ski hill located on the southern slopes of Mt Ubagatake (to the south west of the Mt Gassan peak) in the central region of Yamagata Prefecture. Large amounts of snow fall on the mountain and the ski hill only opens for the late spring season - usually from April until late July. There is only one pair lift and some t-bars, but unlike most ski hills in Japan there are not many trees - the skiable area is a relatively wide open area and backcountry tours are popular. When other ski resorts are closed in late season, Gassan can be very busy especially on weekends and holidays.
Yamagata Prefecture is located in the south-west part of Tohoku with the west coast facing the Sea of Japan. The boundaries of Yamagata Prefecture are all mountainous with Niigata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture to the south, Akita Prefecture to the north and Miyagi Prefecture to the east. The ski and snowboard ski hills in Yamagata range from very small one-lift local hills to the biggest individual ski resort in Japan (Zao Onsen
) and are spread across the Prefecture.