The Ide Renpo’s KITAMATA-DAKE

きたまただけ 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

北股岳

KITAMATA-DAKE

Kitamata-dake is a mountain in the centre of the Ide Renpo popular amongst hikers in Japan with a huge contrast between its western and eastern faces and many famous waterfalls.

Kitamata-dake is a mountain sitting almost in the centre of the Ide Renpo. The contrast of Kitamata-dake’s graceful western face against the precarious eastern face sure is something to behold. Kitamata-dake boasts many trails, and among the mountains of Yamagata, this peak in particular requires technical and physical ability. It’s all but impossible to do a day trip on Kitamata-dake, so you’re going to want to stay at one of the huts along the ridge.

Kitamata-dake is also home to one of Yamagata Prefecture’s 100 top water sources, Bunashizuku (drips from the beech tree). Look for it along the trail between Nukumi-daira and Kairagi-sawa.

Kajigawa One / Marumori One Trail (10 hours one-way)

The trail from the Kajigawa One Trailhead to Yuzawa-mine, and the area in front of Takimiba are very steep. From the Takimiba lookout you can see the snowpacks of Ishikorobi-zawa and Kairagi-no-Taki Falls. There is a flat sprawling meadow covered in alpine flowers once you climb up the steep ridge to Kajigawa-mine.

Meeting the main ridge at Ogi-no-Jigami and heading south, the trail crosses Monnai-dake before reaching the summit of Kitamata-dake. On the return leg, keep heading north once you’re back at Ogi-no-jigami. After crossing Jigami-yama and taking a right at Jigamikita-mine, you will come out on the Marumori-one (ridge). Cross Marumori-mine and head down the ridge. There is one last steep section with rocks before arriving at the Ide Sanso mountain hut.

We recommend staying in the Monnai or Kairagi Mountain huts.

Ishikorobi-Zawa Trail up Kitamata-Dake (9 hours one-way)

Take a right at the Nukumi-daira junction. Then, head towards the ridge to the left of Kairagi-zawa by taking the stairs to the right of the dam. Pass the Takizawa and Kajigawa convergences. At the Ishikorobi convergence go up the left Ishikorobi-zawa, and climb up the snowpacks. After the Honishikorobi and Kitamata-sawa convergences, you will see the Kurodaki Falls with its fallen rocks. Cross these falls, and there is some grass sticking out of the snowpack called Naka-no-shima to climb up. Go up the 45 degree slope and you'll arrive at the Kairagi Mountain Hut. From the Kairagi Mountain Hut it's 40 minutes or so along the ridge to the summit.

We recommend staying in the Kairagi Mountain hut. The snowpacks change depending on both year and season. This guide is assuming a climb between mid-July and mid-August, but either way you must check the conditions before you climb.

KITAMATA-DAKE

北股岳きたまただけ 

Mt. Kitamata, Mt. Kitamatadake, Kitamata

Kitamata-dake (北股岳, きたまただけ) is a 2025 m (6644 ft.) mountain in the Okitama region of Yamagata Prefecture best climbed from mid-July to mid-August. Kitamata-dake is a level 5 for physical intensity, meaning it is a very tough climb, and a B for technical difficulty, meaning it requires some skill. Allow at least two days to climb Kitamata-dake.

Mountain Range

Ide Renpo

Region

Okitama

Elevation

2025 m (6644 ft.)

Technical Demand

B (requires some expertise)

Physical Demand

5 (very tough)

Trails

Two: 1) Kajigawa One / Marumori One Trail (10 hours one-way), 2) Ishikorobi-Zawa Trail (9 hours one-way)

Best time to climb

June to October

Day trip possible?

No, stay on the mountain

Minimum Time Required

At least 9 hours one-way on the Ishikorobi-zawa Trail

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

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