ITO-DAKE (Mt. Ito)

いとうだけ 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

以東岳

ITO-DAKE

One of the main peaks famous as a starting and ending point for traverses along the Asahi Renpo, fields of alpine flowers, and the legendary Takitaro, a giant fish inhabiting the Otori-ike (lake).

Ito-dake is a mountain in Tsuruoka City on the borders of Yamagata and Niigata Prefectures. As one of the main peaks along the Asahi Renpo, Ito-dake is often used as a starting or finishing point for traverses. The mountain is famous for its Narcissus or Leontopodium fauriei flowers. Perhaps more famously, though, Ito-dake is known the legendary Takitaro, a giant fish inhabiting the Otori Lake near the summit.

The Asahi Renpo (Asahi Alps)

The mountains on the Asahi Renpo also on the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata are (from north to south) Shojiga-take, Ito-dake, Tengusumotori-yamaTorihara-yamaKoasahi-dakeOsasahi-dake, and Okitama Ha-yama.

Awataki Trail (6-7 hours one-way)

The Awataki Trailhead is located next to the Awataki Dam. Follow the path along the Otori-kawa River for 7km until you reach Otori-ike (lake). There aren't many difficult spots besides the chicanes just in front of Otori-ike, but watch out for landslides. There are toilets and a water source at Otori-ike Hut. This hut would be a good option for staying the night as well.

Once past the Otori-ike, the quickest trail up Ito-dake is the direct trail to the south. There are a number of steep slopes in the forest along this trail. Once out of the forest, there is a view of the Otori-ike that looks like a bear's paw spread out. If using this trail, when there has been a lot of rainfall, it can be hard to cross the stream where the Higashi-zawa stream flows into Otori-ike (called the Higashizawa Deai). Be sure to check the conditions before your hike.

After Otori-ike, the trail that heads to the east is the Otsubo-mine trail that goes via Otsubo-mine. Once on the ridge past the steep slopes of the beech forest, in summer the alpine vegetation is out, and in winter the autumn leaves make an appearance. The Otsubo-mine trail also offers views of Otori-ike along the way.

ITO-DAKE

以東岳いとうだけ 

Mt. Ito, Mt. Itodake, Itodake

Ito-dake (以東岳いとうだけ) is a 1772m (5813 ft.) peak in the Shonai region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from late-June to mid-October. Ito-dake is a level 6 in terms of physical demand, which means it is very hard to hike, has a B technical grade, which means it doesn't require too much expertise, and you want to allow at least 12 hours for a climb.

Mountain Range

Asahi Renpo

Region

Shonai

Elevation

1772m (5813 ft.)

Technical Demand

B (doesn't require too much expertise)

Physical Demand

6 (very hard to hike)

Trails

One) Utakata Trail, 6-7 hours one-way, which splits into the direct and Otsubo-mine trails.

Best time to climb

Late-June to mid-October

Day trip possible?

No

Minimum Time Required

12 hours

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

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