NISHIAZUMA-YAMA

にしあづまやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

西吾妻山

NISHIAZUMA-YAMA

Tallest peak along the Azuma Renpo, Nishiazuma-yama is famous for its alpine vegetation, wetlands, the many onsen hot spring resorts at its base, and its expansive views.

Nishiazuma-yama is the tallest peak along the Azuma Renpo straddling Yamagata and Fukushima Prefectures. It is also one of the 100 Famous Mountains of Tohoku, and the second tallest peak of the Ou Mountains after Iwate-san.

There are many spots to explore on Nishiazuma-yama besides simply going to the summit. Especially famous are the alpine wetlands where in summer Kinkoka Narthecium asiaticum, Watasuge Hare’s tail cottongrass, and Iwaicho Deer Cabbage bloom. There are also many onsen hot spring resorts both on and around Nishiazuma-yama. Popular ones include Shirabu Onsen, Namegawa Onsen, the secluded Odaira Onsen near the start of the Mogami River, Onogawa Onsen, and Yunosawa Onsen. These all make great places to take a rest before or after your hike.

Azuma-yama along the same Azuma Renpo is an active volcano currently at alert level one. This simply means you need to be aware that it is indeed a volcano. For more information, check the Japan Meteorological Agency website.

Tengendai Trail (2 to 6 hours one-way)

The Tengendai trail starts in Shirabu Onsen. Take the cable car (ropeway in Japanese) from Yugen Station all the way up to the northern lookout at 1820m. To do this, you need to switch ski lifts three times. At the top of the ski lift there is a junction leading to the trail. Take a right here to head to the summit of Nishiazuma-yama. There are some alpine wetlands when you come out along the ridge. Along the way there are good lookouts on the Bonten-iwa and Tengu-iwa rocks. Just past Tengu-iwa lies Azuma Jinja.

Wakaonna-Daira Trail (4 hours one-way)

Wakkaonna-Daira is a flat area in the centre of Nishiazuma-yama you pass through on the Wakaonna-Daira trail when starting in Shirafu Onsen. The trail heads straight to the summit of Nishiazuma-yama and has been used since ancient times. Since the elevation gain is around 1,200m (3937 ft.), this trail is for advanced hikers. Besides the Wakaonna-Daira, the whole hike is steep. From the junction at the top, take a left to go to Tengu-Iwa and Bonten-Iwa, or a right to get to the summit of Nishiazuma-yama.

There is a map on this page.

NISHIAZUMA-YAMA

西吾妻山にしあづまやま 

Mt. Nishiazuma, Nishiazuma, Mt. Nishiadzuma, Nishiadzuma, Nishi Azuma, Nishi Adzuma

Nishiazuma-yama (西吾妻山にしあづまやま) is a 2035m (6676 ft.) peak in the Okitama Region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from June to October. The mountain is a level 2 in terms of physical demand, which means it is relatively easy to hike. Nishiazuma-yama has a B technical grade, which means it doesn't require too much expertise. Allow at least two hours one-way for a hike up Nishiazuma-yama.

Mountain Range

Azuma Renpo

Region

Okitama

Elevation

2035m (6676 ft.)

Technical Demand

B (requires some expertise)

Physical Demand

2 (a little tough)

Trails

Two: 1) Tengendai Trail (2 to 6 hours one-way), 2) Wakaonna-Daira Trail (4 hours one-way)

Best time to climb

June to October

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

Two hours one-way on the Tengendai Trail

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

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