Linear depressions and associated uphill-facing scarps, which result from the gravitational deformation of rock slopes, have widely developed along the main ridge in the Mt. Eboshi area, northern Japanese Alps. The role of landslides in the development of linear depressions in granitic rocks is evaluated from the distribution of linear depressions, characteristics of landslides (form, magnitude and frequency) and characteristics of bedrock (geology, discontinuity, degree of weathering and rock mass strength). The morphology of landslides and changes in the areas of landslides from 1958 to 2004 are compared to the development of linear depressions. Most linear depressions lie parallel to the main ridge and the strike of major rock joints, although their distribution differs between the northern and southern areas. In the northern study area, linear depressions are concentrated on the gentle upper slopes and landslides have intensively occurred on the lower slopes. In contrast, the southern area shows sporadic occurrences of linear depressions on the middle to upper slopes and has experienced only minor landslides. The intensive occurrences of landslides and linear depressions in the northern area are considered to result basically from debuttress and stress-release caused by the landslide activity. In addition, the lower rock mass strength in the northern study area also promotes the development of linear depressions.