OHIRA-YAMA (Mt. Ohira)

おおひらやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

大平山

OHIRA-YAMA

Ohira-yama is a mountain in the Murayama region loved by locals since long ago.

Ohira-yama is a conical-shaped mountain in Obanazawa City. Near the summit of Ohira-yama there are two rocks that were said to be left behind by a high priest. First is the Shishi-iwa rock after the mythical Chinese guardian lion. Second is the Eboshi rock after a form of Heian-era headwear a Shinto priest would wear. There is also a summit marker, and Man’nendo, a group of rocks in the shape of a small hall. Plus, the view from the summit is excellent. From here you can get panoramic views of Koshiki-dake, Gosho-zan, and the Asahi Renpo.

Every year in spring locals from the Hosono area hold a ‘Takai yama unbiraki’ ritual. During the ritual, many people come to pray for the safety of the region. Ohira-yama is also used in the local school song. This shows just how much locals love the mountain.

Ohira-yama Trail (3 hours return)

The start of the Ohira-yama Trail takes you through a forest of thin cedar trees. After a while, you will come across a broad-leafed forest where the climb gets increasingly steeper. There are parts where you need to use the ropes so be warned. You can take a break at the lookout. Then once through the beech forest, there is one last part until you arrive at 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. The mountain 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.

OHIRA-YAMA

大平山おおひらやま 

Mt. Ohira, Mt. Ohirayama

Ohira-yama (大平山おおひらやま) is a 814m (2670 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture best hiked from late May to early November. Ohira-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 for a climb.

Mountain Range

Gosho-zan Range

Region

Murayama

Elevation

814m (2670 ft.)

Technical Demand

A (doesn't require much expertise)

Physical Demand

1 (easy to hike)

Trails

Ohira-yama Trail (3 hours return)

Best time to climb

Late May to early November

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

3 hours return

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

FROM THE REGION

Yura in Tsuruoka city seen from Mt. Arakura
Mountains of Sakura: Arakura-yama (Mt. Arakura)
Venerable Old Man Mountain — The Mist and Mystery of Okina-san (Mt. Okina)
Mt. Atsumi in Atsumi Onsen, a quaint Onsen Hot Spring town in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture
Reaching Peak Tranquility: Atsumi-dake (Mt. Atsumi)

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