Youkai Mountain (妖怪の山 Youkai no Yama) is Gensokyo's largest mountain and volcano. As its name implies, it is inhabited almost exclusively by youkai, primarily kappa and tengu, and where humans are generally not welcome.
The Youkai Mountain is a rocky landform covered by a large expanse of forest named The Great Youkai Forest at its foot, with waterfalls and rivers flowing from the lakes at the mountain top. It is known to have been a highly active volcano in the past, but it has been a long time since it last erupted. Smoke is still seen rising from the mountain from time to time. Commonly, when someone says "The mountain" (山 yama), it usually refers to the Youkai Mountain.
It has served as the home of youkai since long before the time of man and is a high threat to humans. Consisting of a close-knit societies of kappa and tengu, the mountain is closed off from outsiders and its inhabitants lead peaceful communal lives. Outsiders that attempt to climb the mountain, youkai or human, are chased out relentlessly by the tengu patrols. Because no outsiders are allowed, and because the kappa and tengu keep their secrets so close, many things about the mountain remain a mystery to other dwellers of Gensokyo. Additionally, the ruins on the western side of the mountain are inaccessible to both humans and youkai. Recently, the mountain has become more open to humans with the construction of the Moriya Ropeway, which allows passengers to travel to the Moriya Shrine and back without passing through tengu lands.
There are rumours stating that there exists a large hollow cavity within the mountain, where a futuristic utopia just like the Outside World is being built, but the tengu's newspapers may not be telling the truth. The sun's light shines all day long there, and an automated factory produces the necessary items to meet the needs of everyday life, and the youkai drink sake while reading the newspaper and discussing the news, living blissfully. Within this hollow cavity, the forbidden act of opening a hole that connects to the outside world through the boundary is perpetrated, so other humans and youkai are not allowed to enter.
Geography and people
Their stable habitat has allowed the tengu and kappa to develop highly advanced technology. Many technological facilities such as factories and research centers can be found here. Kappa facilities specialize in ironworks, creating weapons and tools, whereas tengu factories include printing presses for newspapers and other publications (Bunbunmaru Newspaper and Kakashi Spirit News among them). The Underground Geyser Center, a facility where a variety of experiments and research projects are carried out, lies deep under the ground beneath the mountain.
Notable tengu that live here include Aya Shameimaru and Hatate Himekaidou (both Crow tengu), Momiji Inubashiri (White Wolf tengu) and Tenma, leader of the tengu. It is unknown exactly where the tengu's settlement is located on the mountain or what it is like, but it is most likely to be located high up the mountains above the Waterfall of Nine Heavens, near to where the heroine faced off against Aya Shameimaru in stage 4 of Mountain of Faith.
Bhavaagra, a realm within Heaven, can easily be reached from the mountain top, presumably due to its closeness to the sky. It's said that the Shining Needle Castle is located in the sky not far from the mountain.
Incidentally, the mountain was used in the naming of Aya's Mountain of Faith theme, Youkai Mountain ~ Mysterious Mountain.
Before being sealed inside of Gensokyo by the Great Hakurei Barrier, the mountain was known as Yatsugatake. It was once much taller than Mount Fuji, but it was torn down in a fit of jealousy by the goddess Konohana-Sakuyahime, who couldn't stand there being a mountain greater than her own Mount Fuji. Sakuyahime's elder sister, Iwanagahime, tired of her sister's attitude, moved to Yatsugatake and settled there, where she remains to this day. The smoke rising from the mountain is produced by her, but due to its long inactivity humans have come to think that the smoke comes not from the volcano but from the many factories located in the mountain. The mountain in Gensokyo is said to be the original form of Yatsugatake, before it was destroyed by Sakuyahime.
The mountain was formerly ruled by the oni, with the tengu and kappa as their subordinates. However, due to the creation of the Great Hakurei Barrier and the rapid decline of dedicated oni exterminators, the oni grew tired of how uneventful Gensokyo had become and left the mountain. With their superiors nowhere to be found, the tengu and the kappa were quick to take charge, with the tengu building upon what was left behind by the oni.
The Moriya Shrine and a great lake named the Wind God's Lake were brought over from the Outside World some time before the events of Mountain of Faith. Its goddesses and shrine maiden caused a great disturbance among the mountain's original inhabitants, but the conflict was eventually settled and now they are accepted as residents of the mountain.
The mountain is composed of several sectors, settlements and landmarks.
- In 2017, an aerial tram was completed that connects the foot of the mountain directly to Moriya Shrine, allowing humans to access it without passing through youkai territory.
Foot of the Youkai Mountain
- The Foot of the Youkai Mountain (妖怪の山麓 Yōkai no Sanroku), or 妖怪の山の麓 is what it literally states. Shizuha Aki and Minoriko Aki can be found here. This is the location of stage 1 in Mountain of Faith, Double Spoiler, Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, and Unconnected Marketeers although for these to be the same location is unlikely.
The Great Youkai Forest
- The Great Youkai Forest (妖怪の樹海 Youkai no Jukai) is a great forest located at the foot of the mountain. It is a dark forest that sunlight does not penetrate and its atmosphere is heavy. It was featured in stage 2 of Mountain of Faith with the theme The Road of the Misfortune God ~ Dark Road. Hina Kagiyama, a curse goddess, lives here.
The Untrodden Valley
- The Untrodden Valley (未踏の渓谷 Mitou no Keikoku) is a valley located at the very base of the mountain through which a river running from the Waterfall of Nine Heavens courses. The kappa's hideout, the home of the kappa as mentioned in Wild and Horned Hermit, lies somewhere on land in this area. The Untrodden Valley was introduced in the 3rd stage of Mountain of Faith with the theme The Gensokyo the Gods Loved.
Giant Toad's Pond
- The Giant Toad's Pond (大蝦蟇の池 Oo-gama no Ike) is a small, mysterious pond that can be found halfway up the mountain.
The Waterfall of Nine Heavens
- The Waterfall of Nine Heavens (九天の滝 Kyuuten no Taki) is one of the many large waterfalls of the mountain. White Wolf tengu patrolers such as Momiji Inubashiri hide behind the waterfall watching for intruders and launching surprise attacks if any such are spotted.
The Wind God's Lake
- The Wind God's Lake (風神の湖 Fuujin no Mizuumi) is a great lake located at the heights of the mountain. It was transported into Gensokyo by Kanako Yasaka before the events of Mountain of Faith along with the Moriya Shrine, which is also located nearby.
The Moriya Shrine
- The Moriya Shrine (守矢神社 Moriya Jinja) was among the things transported over from the Outside World into Gensokyo. Kanako Yasaka, Suwako Moriya and Sanae Kochiya live within the shrine.
Kasen Ibaraki's Mansion (Senkai)
- Kasen Ibaraki's home lies somewhere deep within the mountain close by the Moriya Shrine, hidden within her own climate-controlled version of Senkai. It is described in Wild and Horned Hermit as being a large mansion by Sanae, though Kasen herself refers to it as a dojo. A scroll with the 8th stage towards enlightenment depicted in Ten Bulls, namely "Both Bull and Self Transcended", can be seen hanging from her wall.
- Eirin Yagokoro grows a field of chinese peony somewhere on the mountain for pharmaceutical purposes.
Secret Heaven Cliff
- The Secret Heaven Cliff (秘天崖 Hitengai) is the cliff where yamawaro live. Humans are strongly prohibitted to be around there by them.
False Heaven Shelf
- The entrance to the Rainbow Dragon Cave is found there, and it is guarded by Sannyo Komakusa. She's the owner of a gambling den found in the area.
- Phantasmagoria of Flower View
The mountain first appeared in Phantasmagoria of Flower View as a stage location associated with Aya Shameimaru. Some characters end up here because they cannot find the source to the cause of the flower incident in the game, but may end up spotting Aya and fighting her here.
- Mountain of Faith
The mountain is the prime location of Mountain of Faith (hence the title of the name). Reimu Hakurei or Marisa Kirisame will travel to the top of the mountain, passing The Great Youkai Forest, The Untrodden Valley and The Waterfall of Nine Heavens in order to reach the Moriya Shrine. Various Gods and youkai such as Hina Kagiyama, Nitori Kawashiro and Aya will prevent the heroine from going higher the mountain, mainly to warn them that the mountain is dangerous. It was here that the shrine permanently stay here, who were causing a fuss with the kappa and tengu.
- Subterranean Animism
- Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom
The mountain re-appeared on stages 1 and 2 of Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom. The first stage is at the foot of the mountain where the heroine will encounter Seiran, and the second stage is at the Wind God's Lake where the heroine will encounter Ringo. Moon rabbits from the Moon are trying to purify Earth and have setten up a base at the lake of the mountain.
- Hidden Star in Four Seasons
The mountain serves as the stage 2 location of the game while Gensokyo is experiencing abnormal seasons and weather. During the events, the Youkai Mountain it's undergoing Autumn in the middle of Summer and, while the heroine is investigating, she encounters a yamanba named Nemuno Sakata who tries to chase her away.
- Unconnected Marketeers
The mountain serves as the location of the entire game. After encountering the first boss, Mike Goutokuji, over the foothills, the protagonists moved on to the Yamawaro's hideout, the Secret Heaven Cliff. She also encountered Takane Yamashiro there before going up to the False Heaven Shelf. Then, the protagonists see a mine entrance leading to the Rainbow Dragon Cave, guarded by Sannyo Komakusa. After the battle with Sannyo, they proceed into the Rainbow Dragon Cave, where they meet and fight Misumaru Tamatsukuri, who tells them that their real enemy actually lies on the top of the Youkai Mountain. They move up to the top where they meet the Great Tengu Megumu Iizunamaru, who is the one who came up with the Ability Cards the game is centered around. After defeat, she tells the protagonists that they must defeat someone even higher up in the sky to stop the incident. The protagonists then fly far above the mountain where they finally meet the final boss of the game, Chimata Tenkyuu and promptly defeat her. Later in the extra stage, the protagonists return to the Rainbow Dragon Cave to investigate it, where they are confronted by Momoyo Himemushi and also defeat her.
- Shoot the Bullet
The mountain appears on stage 3 of Shoot the Bullet specifically at the Giant Toad's Pond, where Aya Shameimaru encounters Alice Margatroid and Keine Kamishirasawa to try and take photos of their danmaku. The previous stage is at the Misty Lake, whilst the next stage is at the Hill of the Nameless. There are 8 scenes in this stage.
- Scarlet Weather Rhapsody / Touhou Hisoutensoku
- Double Spoiler
The mountain is a recurring location in Double Spoiler, using stage 1 as the foot of the mountain, the Untrodden Valley on stage 4, the Wind God's Lake on stage 11 and the Waterfall of Nine Heavens on the spoiler stage. On the first stage, Aya Shameimaru and Hatate Himekaidou encounters Shizuha Aki and Minoriko Aki to try and take photos of their danmaku, although it started with Aya practising her shots on Minoriko to where she turned against her. There are 6 scenes in this particular stage.
- Impossible Spell Card
During the sixth day of Impossible Spell Card, Seija Kijin finds herself in the Untrodden Valley, where she first has a dialogue and a short battle with Mamizou Futatsuiwa, and then confronts Aya Shameimaru, Hatate Himekaidou, Momiji Inubashiri and Nitori Kawashiro. Even after Seija left the area, the tengu spread rumors about her actions, making more people going after her. She then later appears on the ninth day at the Moriya Shrine.
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate
- Wild and Horned Hermit
Giant Toad's Pond in Phantasmagoria of Flower View
The pond in Shoot the Bullet
Foot of Youkai Mountain in Mountain of Faith
The Great Youkai Forest in Mountain of Faith
The mountain view near the Tengu Base in Mountain of Faith
Wind God's Lake in Mountain of Faith
An area within the mountain seen in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
Foot of Youkai Mountain in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom
Youkai Mountain in Hidden Star in Four Seasons
Foot of Youkai Mountain in Unconnected Marketeers
Secret Heaven Cliff in Unconnected Marketeers
False Heaven Shelf in Unconnected Marketeers
Summit of Youkai Mountain in Unconnected Marketeers (Dusk)
Summit of Youkai Mountain in Unconnected Marketeers, with Dragon Gems embedded in the surface (Night)
The Giant Toad's Pond in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Youkai Mountain as seen in Symposium of Post-mysticism
Books and articles
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Chen
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Chapter 4
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Youkai Mountain
- Symposium of Post-mysticism: Aliens From a Burning Fireball?
- Wild and Horned Hermit: Chapter 39
- Hidden Star in Four Seasons: Aya's Scenario
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Oni
- Subterranean Animism: Marisa and Nitori's Scenario
- Mountain of Faith: Reimu's Scenario
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Kappa
- Wild and Horned Hermit: Chapter 37
- Wild and Horned Hermit: Chapter 2
- Oriental Sacred Place: Chapter 14