TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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

じぞうもりやま 

100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata

地蔵盛山

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

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

JIZOMORI-YAMA

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

地蔵盛山じぞうもりやま 

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

JIZOMORI-YAMA

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, one of the entrances to Gassan. The summit is near the top of the Yunodai Bokujo (Ski field), however there is no official trail there. The summit is also covered in bush, and there is no lookout. Instead, in the middle of the mountain there is a cave that the sage said to have opened Hijiori Onsen is said to have lived in. There is also a shrine called Jizo-kura in a sacred spot where people pray for good affinity, safe childbirth, and prosperous business endeavours. 

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

It is recommended to go 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, please use the car park next to Yakushi Shrine in the centre of town.

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, and you 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, but there are railings to keep you 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 that 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, and there are many fields with a lot of trees and plants to take in. 

FROM THE REGION

Yura in Tsuruoka city seen from Mt. Arakura
Mountains of Sakura: Arakura-yama (Mt. Arakura)
The sun sets over the ninth station of Mt. Gassan
Gassan, the Dewa Sanzan’s “Mountain of Death” (Mt. Gassan)
Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture
Tohoku’s Matterhorn: IWAIGAME-YAMA

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A Ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn) at Semi Onsen Hot Spring Resort
Turtles, Tigers, and a Legendary Japanese Character: Kamewari-yama (Mt. Kamewari)

YAMABUSHI NEWSLETTER

KIWI YAMABUSHI

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

TIM BUNTING – KIWI YAMABUSHI

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