KUMANO-YAMA

くまのやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

熊野山

KUMANO-YAMA

Kumano-yama is a mountain in Oguni Town at the edge of the Asahi Renpo with a special place in the hearts of locals.

Kumano-yama is a mountain at the southern tip of the Asahi mountain range in Nagai City and Ide Town. The mountain sits in the tip of the fan-shaped area formed by the Okitama-no-gawa River. Although only 670 m (2198 ft.) in elevation, Kumano-yama has disproportionately long ridges, and a subdued appearance.

Halfway up the mountain lies Kumano Jinja, which is enshrined as Ubusunagami for locals of the former Hirayama village. The shrine offers views of the Sankyo Hamlet and the cityscape of Nagai. There are two lookouts along the ridge as well. From here you can see the Nagai Dam, and the southern portion of the Asahi Renpo from Oasahi-dake to Tohoku's Matterhorn: Iwaigame-yama. There is a lookout on the south side of the summit from where you can see the whole Okitama basin from Nanyo to Yonezawa Cities.

Locals refer to the part with Kumano Jinja as Kumano-yama. They call the real summit ‘Mumei-san (無名山)', no-name mountain. For practical purposes, we will refer to the 670 m high peak as Kumano-yama.

Kumano-yama Tozan Trail (90 minutes one-way)

Park your car at Nogawa Manabikan. There is a sign indicating the trailhead in front of the junction to the road that leads to Doshojidaira Ski Field. Take this route. After about 5 minutes you’ll reach the ski field car park. Climb the ski slope behind the community center. Enter the forest again near where the Dai-3 ropeway ends. After about five minutes you will hit the ridge. Take a right here and Kumano Jinja lies at the top of this incline.

From Kumano Jinja the climb isn’t so bad, a few ups and downs. You will pass the first and second lookouts before long. The true summit sits behind at to the right of the sign where there is a summit marker. To the south, you get views of the Okitama basin.

It’s also possible to climb up from the ski field. Doing so will cut ten minutes off your hike.

Places nearby to check out

Tohoku’s Matterhorn

Iwaigame-yama (祝瓶山いわいがめやま) is a 1417m (4648 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture at the southern edge of the Asahi Renpo. The mountain’s shape resembles that of The Matterhorn. Climbing season for Iwaigame-yama is usually from June to October. Iwaigame-yama is a level 3 in terms of physical demand, which means it is moderate to hike, has a B technical grade, which means it doesn’t require too much expertise, and you want to allow at least 7 hours for a hike.

Oasahi-dake

The main peak along the Asahi Renpo, and also one of the 100 Famous Mountains of Japan, Oasahi-dake (大朝日岳おおあさひだけ) is a 1871m (6138 ft.) peak along the borders of the Okitama, Murayama, and Shonai regions of Yamagata. Oasahi-dake is a level 5 in terms of physical demand, which means it is hard to hike. The mountain has a B technical grade. This means it doesn’t require too much expertise. Allow at least 12 hours for a climb up Oasahi-dake, meaning you probably need to stay on the mountain.

Todono-san

Lying along the borders of Shirataka and Asahi Towns, Todono-san is a 1203m (3946 ft.) peak that was part of the ancient trails to Yudono-san. Best climbed from June to October, Todono-san is a level 3 in terms of physical demand, which means it is moderate to hike. The mountain has a B technical grade, which means it doesn’t require too much expertise. Allow at least 4 hours for a climb up Todono-san.

Winter Wonderland of Shirotaro-yama

Shirotaro-yama is a mountain in Oguni Town only open for hiking during the winter months when there is snow. This is usually from January to March. There are local groups that you can go with, and make sure you allow at least 2 hours one-way for a hike.

KUMANO-YAMA

熊野山くまのやま 

Mt. Kumano, Kumanoyama, Mt. Kumanoyama, Mt. Mumei-san, Mumeisan, Mt. Mumei

Kumano-yama (熊野山くまのやま) is a 670m (2198 ft.) peak in the Okitama Region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from March to November. Kumano-yama is a level 2 in terms of physical demand, which means it is relatively easy to hike, has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise, and you want to allow at least 90 minutes one-way for a climb.

Mountain Range

Asahi Renpo

Region

Okitama

Elevation

670m (2198 ft.)

Technical Demand

A (requires little expertise)

Physical Demand

2 (relatively easy to hike)

Trails

One): Kumano-yama Tozan Trail (90 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb

March to November

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

90 minutes one-way on the Kumano-yama Tozan Trail

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

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