JIZOMORI-YAMA (JIZO-KURA) (Mt. Jizomori)

じぞうもりやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

地蔵盛山

JIZOMORI-YAMA

Mountain near Hijiori Onsen with an amazing shrine on a precarious cliff-face overlooking Gassan.

Jizomori-Yama (Mt. Jizomori, 地蔵盛山 じぞうもりやま), is a small peak to the east of Hijiori Onsen. Hijiori Onsen is one of the official Happo Nanakuchi entrances to Gassan. The summit is near the top of the Yunodai Bokujo (Ski field), however there is no official trail there. The mountain has very thick bush, and there is no lookout. Instead, in the middle of the mountain there is a cave. This cave is where the sage who opened Hijiori Onsen lived, and there is a shrine called Jizo-kura there. People pray for good affinity, safe childbirth, and prosperous business endeavours here. 

Jizo-Kura has a custom whereby you screw up a piece of paper and pass it through a hole for good luck. This custom and the luck it brings is one of the reasons why the mountain has gained popularity. 

We recommend going to Jizomori-yama early in the morning. In summer hornets may be active so be sure to wear appropriate clothing (long sleeves and trousers). 

There are two trails to Jizo-kura both with signage placed periodically along the trail. If you have the time, it’s worth trying a different trail there and back. If you’re just going to go to Jizo-kura, use the car park next to Yakushi Shrine.

Yakushi Jinja trail (40 minutes one-way)

This trail takes you through Yakushi Jinja in Hijiori Onsen. The torii gates and stone stairway in the onsen town are the trailhead. Pass by the left of Yakushi Jinja to get to the proper trail. 

The start of the trail is through a cedar forest that gradually turns into a beech forest. There is a road after about 15 minutes where you take a right until the trailhead for Jizo-kura. 

After the Oiwa and Kodzukuri Jizo, the trail goes along a rock face. Make sure to hold the railings to keep safe. At the last corner there is a giant pine tree from where you can see Jizo-Kura. Jizo-kura itself is otherworldly, and there is a lookout from where you can see the southern part of Okura-Mura. 

Gensen Koen (Gensen Park) Trail  (50 minutes one-way)

This trail starts outside the main hot spring village at the Gensen Park, where the Gensen Dome and Hijiori Dam lie. Walk along the river on the flat path. From the open space there is a steep climb. The climb goes on for a while so be sure to get rest as necessary. At the top of this incline you will come out at the road that leads to the trailhead for Jizo-Kura. Take a left, then the rest of the trail is the same as the Yakushi Jinja trail. This trail is longer than the Yakushi Jinja trail. However, there are many fields with a lot of trees and plants to take in. 

JIZOMORI-YAMA

地蔵盛山じぞうもりやま 

Mt. Jizomori, Mt. Jizomori-yama, Jizo-kura, Mt. Jizokura

Mountain near Hijiori Onsen with an amazing shrine on a precarious cliff-face overlooking Gassan.

Jizomori-yama (地蔵盛山, 地蔵倉,じぞうもりやまじぞうくら) is a 594m (1948 ft.) peak in the Mogami region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from June to October. Jizomori-yama is a level 1 in terms of physical demand, which means it is easy to hike, has a D technical grade, which means it requires a relative amount of expertise, and you want to allow at least 1 hour 20 minutes for a climb.

Mountain Range

Jizomori-yama

Region

Mogami

Elevation

594m (1948 ft.)

Technical Demand

D (requires a bit of expertise)

Physical Demand

1 (easy to hike)

Trails

Two) 1) Yakushi jinja trail (40 minutes one-way), 2) Gensen Koen (Gensen Park) Trail  (50 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb

June to October

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

1 hour 20 return

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

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