Rainmaker Mountain: AMAYOBARI-YAMA (Mt. Amayobari)

あまよばりやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

雨呼山

AMAYOBARI-YAMA

Former Shugendo peak known for its magical ability to make rain fall (hence the name, 'rain calling mountain').

Amayobari-yama is historically a mountain for mountain and nature worship. As opposed to the Dewa Sanzan mountains to the west, the mountain was home to a form of mountain worship called Okuyama-gake, lit. climbing the mountains of the depths. This training took place at Risshakuji Temple, Amayobari-yama, Uzawa-yama, and Jakushoji Temple. As such, the mountain developed a reputation as a mysterious place of knowledge exceeding that comprehensible by man.

Amayobari-yama is known for its ability to bring water (the name literally means ‘water calling mountain’). The water that flows from the summit turns into the Nanatsuka-taki Falls. Since ancient times, this has provided water to Tendo City’s Nariujo Region, and thanks to this ability to bring rain, locals have revered the mountain for centuries. Amayobari-yama is particularly beautiful when the beech forest at the summit is covered in green leaves around May to June.

Jagaramogara Trail (90 minutes one-way)

Jagaramogara is the name of a 250m by 90m indentation in the middle of Amayobari-yama. This place is famous for strong winds, and the wide variety of alpine plants that grow because of this. The Jagaramogara trail links up with the Murakumo and Amayobari-yama trails before heading to the summit. There are a number of steep parts and the trail can be rather slippery. Take due care.

Mitsuishi Trail (2 hours one-way)

Starting from the Jagaramura Shinrin Fureai Kojo carpark, the Mitsuishi Trail meets the Amayobari-yama Trail. There are three huge boulders where the Mitsuishi and Amayobari-yama trails meet. The trail has continuous sharp inclines and can be very slippery. In contrast, summit is level and surrounded by beech forest.

Chobo Trail (90 minutes one-way)

The Chobo Trail starts about 3km along the road from the Jagaramura Koryu Centre. The trail utilises the Jogejigoku Trail, Murakumo Trail, and Amayobari-yama Trail before reaching the summit. The Murakumo and Amayobari-yama trails both have steep areas. There is a lookout with a pagoda a little past the carpark from where you can see Maizuru-yama and the south-western part of Tendo City.

Places Near Amayobari-yama Worth Visiting

Omoshiro-yama

The Mountain of Intrigue: Omoshiro-yama (面白山おもしろやま) is a 1264m (4146 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture. Omoshiro-yama has boasts breathtaking autumn views, waterfalls, mountain streams, and more. Best hiked from May to mid-November, Omoshiro-yama is a level 2 in terms of physical demand. This means it is relatively easy to hike. The mountain also has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise. Allow at least 2 hours one-way for a hike up Omoshiro-yama.

Maizuru-yama

The mountain castle of Maizuru-yama (舞鶴山まいづるやま) is a 242m (793. ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata. Maizuru-yama is a popular destination for locals of Tendo City who flock to the mountain for the annual human chess battle during the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival). Best climbed from April to November, you want to allow at least 1 hour one-way for a hike up Maizuru-yama.

Crystal Mountain: SUISHO-ZAN

Suisho-zan (Crystal Mountain) is a popular mountain for hiking on the borders of Tendo and Higashine Cities. The mountain is a 668m (2191 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from May to mid-November. Suisho-zan is a level 1 in terms of physical demand, which means it is easy to hike, has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise. Allow at least 1 hour one-way for a hike up Suisho-zan.

AMAYOBARI-YAMA

雨呼山あまよばりやま 

Mt. Amayobari-yama, Amayobariyama, Mt. Amayboariyama, Mt. Amayobari,

Amayobari-yama (雨呼山あまよばりやま) is a 906m (2972 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from May to mid-November. Amayobari-yama is a level 1 in terms of physical demand, which means it is easy to hike, has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise. Allow at least 90 minutes one-way hours for a hike up Amayobari-yama.

Mountain Range

Amayobari-yama

Region

Murayama

Elevation

906m (2972 ft.)

Technical Demand

A (requires little expertise)

Physical Demand

1 (easy to hike)

Trails

Three: 1) Jagaramogara Trail (90 minutes one-way), 2) Mitsuishi Trail (2 hours one-way), 3) Chobo Trail (90 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb

May to mid-November

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

3 hours

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

PDF Maps by TheHokkaidoCartographer and JapanWilds.org. See all here.

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