TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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ODO-MORI (Mt. Odomori)

おどうもり 

100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata

御堂森

Shugendo peak in Obanazawa City that is the Oku-no-in shrine of a group of mountain worshippers centred on Koshiki-dake.

Shugendo peak in Obanazawa City that is the Oku-no-in shrine of a group of mountain worshippers centred on Koshiki-dake.

ODO-MORI

Mt. Odo-mori, Mt. Odomori, Odomori

御堂森おどうもり 

Odo-mori (御堂森おどうもり) is a 1057m (3467 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from May to October. Odo-mori is a level 3 in terms of physical demand, which means it is moderate to hike, has a A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise, and you want to allow at least 6 hours for a climb.

Mountain Range

Odo-mori

Region

Murayama

Elevation

1057m (3467 ft.)

Technical Demand

A (requires little expertise)

Physical Demand

3 (moderate hike)

Trails

Odomori Trail (3 hours one-way)

Best time to climb

May to October

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

6 hours return

ODO-MORI

Odo-mori is an impressive mountain shaped like a pyramid. The mountain is famous for Iwauchiwa grass Shortia uniflora, which is especially beautiful during the spring. From the summit views of Chokai-zan, the Kamuro Alps, Okina-san, Funagata-yama, Murayama Ha-yama, and Gassan abound.

Odo-mori was the Oku-no-in (temple in the depths) of a group of mountain worship peaks centred on Koshiki-dake. In 648, a monk by the name of Dosho (道照和尚) opened Koshiki-dake as sacred mountains for Buddhist worship and enshrined Kan’on Bosatsu at the summit. Miroku Bosatsu is enshrined at the Oku-no-in at the summit of Odo-mori.

Odomori Trail (3 hours one-way)

The Odomori trail was newly established by a group of volunteers. Follow the signs from the Hosono area of Obanazawa City to the carpark and trailhead. Since the road to the trailhead isn’t the best, we recommend a car with 4WD. The slope is steep right the start of the trail to the entrance to the firebreak. From there, keep following the ridge along the firebreak to the lookout. From the lookout you can see the summit of Odo-mori, the field of Iwauchiwa (Shortia uniflora) flowers, and if the weather’s good past Bunakobudaira you can see all the way out to Chokai-zan in the north. Once you walk through the giant beech forests there is a long steep slope to climb before you reach the summit.

Nearby locations worth visiting 

Ginzan Onsen

Okina-san is only a short 20 minute drive from Ginzan Onsen, one of the most well-known parts of Yamagata Prefecture. Famous for its Ryokan along a river that looks like they came straight out of a Ghibli film, Ginzan Onsen is an excellent location to relax after a few hours on the mountains of Yamagata. 

Switch on coffee

One day I was passing through Obanazawa on my way home from Sendai and I found this awesome little cafe had only recently opened. They had amazing cheesecakes, and their selection of beans was something special. 

Kita-yama

Kita-yama is the perfect spot for a picnic amongst the Sakura that offers panoramic views over the rice fields and mountains of inland Yamagata Prefecture.

Kamuro-dake 

Kamuro-dake is a Mountain on the edge of a caldera on the borders of Mogami Town and the Onikobe part of Naruko Onsen, Miyagi Prefecture.

Futatsu-mori 

Futatsu-mori is a distinctive twin-peaked mountain in Obanazawa City near the border with Miyagi Prefecture.

Venerable Old Man Mountain — The Mist and Mystery of Okina-san

Okina-san with its summit shrouded in mist.
Okina-san with its summit shrouded in mist. This turned out to be a godsend, however.

Lying along The Ou Mountains, Japan’s longest mountain range stretching over 500km across the length of the Tohoku Region, the landscapes and legends of Okina-san make this 1075m (3526 ft.) peak not only a 100 Famous Mountain of Yamagata, but also one of the 100 Famous Mountains of Tohoku.

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About the author

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

TIM BUNTING – KIWI YAMABUSHI

OFFICIAL DEWA SANZAN YAMABUSHI NAME:

RYOSEN – SPREADER OF TRUTH

Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website I made). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

Sign up for the Mountains of Wisdom mailer for updates, follow me on social (IG, FB, YT, Twitter, TikTok, CR, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email to get in touch.

Tim.

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