Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture



Nadera-yama is a massif compiled of many smaller peaks that was made famous by Lord Yozan of the Yonezawa Domain.

Nadera-yama is a massif comprising Onari-san, Ha-yama, Atago-yama, Sasano-yama, and Tochikubo-yama. The mountain is in the outskirts of Yonezawa City and locals have loved this mountain since ancient times. The summit is at the highest point, Sasano-yama.

Among other hiking events, the Atago-yama Minshu Tozan and Kankan Watari hikes are very popular with locals. Many people come to Nadera-yama to visit Onari-san Koen park, or for some trekking. In addition, Nadera-yama is famous for its fauna, boasting over 500 different varieties of plants.

Tohoku Shizen Hodo Trail (Tohoku Nature Trail) (4 hours one-way)

The Tohoku Shizen Hodo Trail goes along the Yonezawa Green Belt. The trail is part of the ‘path for visiting the nature of Nadera and the carvings of Sasano’, itself a part of the Tohoku Shizen Michi (The Tohoku Nature Path). The trail is known for its vegetation and comes recommended for hiking in spring, autumn, and winter.

Starting near the Sasano Kan’on statue of Buddha, the trail goes through forests to the summit. Cars can also access this trail, but it is very narrow and has many turns. From the summit, you can walk along the ridge and go via Atago-yama and Ha-yama coming out at the Tate-yama region of Yonezawa. Along the way there are views of central Yonezawa city, and Tate-yama is another former mountain castle.

Higashiyama-mine no Michi Trail (4 hours one-way)

This trail over the eastern peaks of Nadera-yama has a mountain worship history of over 1200 years. The trail starts at Atago-hayama-ryo Jinja in Toyama Town and heads north towards Atago Jinja, to then do the reverse of the Tohoku Shizen Hodo Trail and head south. If you keep following the path from the summit of Nadera-yama, there is a junction that heads down to the Sasano region. Take a right here. Keep following this path south and you will arrive at your goal, the Shimin-no-mori and Nishimukai-numa (pond). Shimin-no-mori has the remains of a late-Jomon period settlement, and Nishimukai-numa changes colours brilliantly with the seasons.

Lord Yozan Memorial Kengaku Trail (90 minutes one-way)

The Lord Yozan Kengaku Trail has a famous backstory among locals. During the Edo Period (1603-1868), there was an extended period of drought. The Uesugi Clan Lord at the time, Uesugi Harunori (who changed his name to Yozan) himself climbed Atago-yama to pray for rain. This is the trail he took. The start of the trail until the summit of Atago-yama is the same as the Higashiyama-mine no Michi Trail. There is a memorial to Lord Yozan in the grounds of Atago Jinja at the summit. After seeing that, be sure to take in the view.


Mt. Nadera, Mt. Nadera-yama, Naderayama, Atago-yama, Mt. Atago, Ha-yama, Mt. Ha-yama.

Nadera-yama is a massif compiled of many smaller peaks that was made famous by Lord Yozan of the Yonezawa Domain.


Nadera-yama (斜平山なでらやま) is a 660m (2165 ft.) peak in the Okitama Region of Yamagata prefecture hikable year-round. Nadera-yama 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, and you want to allow at least 3 hours one-way for a hike.

Mountain Range





660m (2165 ft.)

Technical Demand

A (requires little expertise)

Physical Demand

1 (easy to hike)


Three: 1) Tohoku Shizen Hodo Trail (Tohoku Nature Trail) (4 hours one-way), 2) Higashiyama-mine no Michi Trail (4 hours one-way), 3. Lord Yozan Memorial Kengaku Trail (90 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb


Day trip possible?


Minimum Time Required

90 minutes on the Lord Yozan Memorial Kengaku Trail


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