Dancing Swan Mountain: MAIZURU-YAMA (Mt. Maizuru)

まいづるやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

舞鶴山

MAIZURU-YAMA

Popular destination for locals of Tendo City who flock to the mountain for the annual human chess battle during the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival).

Maizuru-yama is a mountain with the remains of a castle that the Tendo Clan lived in from the Muromachi Period (1336 to 1573) to the Sengoku Period (1467–1615).

The whole mountain is a local park, and from the summit you can see Gassan and the Asahi Renpo. The park is famous for its Sakura (cherry blossoms). Every year in April during the Tendo Sakura Matsuri (cherry blossom festival), there is a human chess event that brings in thousands of viewers. The mountain as a whole is also a walking course for locals.

Maizuru-yama Walking Model Trail 1 (1 hour one-way)

The first trail leaves from the trailhead along the narrow road at the northern end of Maizuru-yama. There aren’t many inclines and the distance is short making this trail great for walking.

This trail takes in Kojikitaro Inari Jinja, Take Isao Jinja, the human chess board at the summit, the giant Zelkova and lookout, the statue of Yoshida Daihachi, and the Atago-numa pond.

Maizuru-yama Walking Model Trail 2 (90 minutes one-way)

Adding to the sights in the first trail, this second trail takes in the remains of Tendo Castle, Tendo Jinja, and Atago Jinja. You get a real slice of the history of Tendo on this 4km trail that is great for walking.

Places Nearby Worth Checking Out

Omoshiro-yama

The Mountain of Intrigue: Omoshiro-yama (面白山おもしろやま) is a 1264m (4146 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture. Omoshiro-yama has boasts breathtaking autumn views, waterfalls, mountain streams, and more. Best hiked from May to mid-November, Omoshiro-yama is a level 2 in terms of physical demand. This means it is relatively easy to hike. The mountain also has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise. Allow at least 2 hours one-way for a hike up Omoshiro-yama.

Rainmaker Mountain: Amayobari-yama

Amayobari-yama (雨呼山あまよばりやま) is a former Shugendo peak known for its magical ability to make rain fall. The mountain is a 906m (2972 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture. Amayobari-yama should be climbed from May to mid-November. It is a level 1 in terms of physical demand, which means it is easy to hike. The mountain has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise. Allow at least 90 minutes one-way hours for a hike up Amayobari-yama.

Crystal Mountain: SUISHO-ZAN

Suisho-zan (Crystal Mountain) is a popular mountain for hiking on the borders of Tendo and Higashine Cities. The mountain is a 668m (2191 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture. Suisho-zan is a level 1 in terms of physical demand, which means it is easy to hike, has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise. Allow at least 1 hour one-way for a hike up Suisho-zan.

MAIZURU-YAMA

舞鶴山まいづるやま 

Mt. Maizuru, Maidzuru-yama, Mt. Maidzuru, Mt. Maidzuruyama

Maizuru-yama (舞鶴山まいづるやま) is a 242m (793. ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from April to November. You want to allow at least 3 hours for a climb.

Mountain Range

Maizuru-yama

Region

Murayama

Elevation

242m (793. ft.)

Technical Demand

Unknown, but the mountain isn't very big at all.

Physical Demand

Unknown, but the mountain isn't very big at all.

Trails

Two: 1) Maizuru-yama Walking Model Trail 1 (1 hour one-way), and 2) Maizuru-yama Walking Model Trail 2 (90 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb

April to November

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

2 hours

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

FROM THE REGION

Mt. Yamuki (Yamuki-yama) in Shinjo City
The Medieval Castle and Mighty River of Yamuki-yama (Mt. Yamuki)
Mt. Yudono Shrine Gates during the autumn
The Dewa Sanzan’s Mountain of Rebirth: Yudono-san (Mt. Yudono)
Sanze village near Mt. Fujikura surrounded by green mountains and the blue Sea of Japan can be seen through the trees in the distance through the trees of Mt. Fujikura
Sanze’s Little Helper: Fantastic Fujikura-yama (Mt. Fujikura)

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