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The beloved monk poet Ryokan's mountain home on mount Kugami 國上山, an hour and a half south of Niigata City is a very quiet unimposing site. It is a small round hill connected to a range of higher rounded hills. He lived here for most of the last 20 years of his life. From the summit of Kugamisan there is a lovely view of the Japan Sea to the west and the snow covered Japan Alps to the east.

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