TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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OKITAMA HA-YAMA (Mt. Hayama (Okitama))

おきたまはやま 

100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata

置賜葉山

Mountain at the southern edge of the Asahi Renpo in Nagai City and Asahi and Shirataka Towns.

Mountain at the southern edge of the Asahi Renpo in Nagai City and Asahi and Shirataka Towns.

OKITAMA HA-YAMA

Mt. Hayama (Okitama), (Okitama) Hayama, Hayama (Okitama), Ha-yama (Okitama), Mt. Okitama Hayama

置賜葉山おきたまはやま 

Okitama Ha-yama ((置賜)葉山(おきたま)はやま) is a 1237m (4058 ft.) peak in the Mogami and Murayama regions of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from June to October. Okitama Ha-yama is a level 3 in terms of physical demand, which means it is moderate to hike, has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise, and you want to allow at least 6 hours for a climb.

Mountain Range

Asahi Renpo

Region

Okitama

Elevation

1237m (4058 ft.)

Technical Demand

A (requires little expertise)

Physical Demand

3 (moderate hike)

Trails

Three: 1) Shirousagi Trail (3 hours one-way, go with someone experienced with hiking on snow), 2) Kusaoka Trail (3 hours one-way), 3) Kanjindai Trail (3.5 hours one-way from the gate)

Best time to climb

June to October

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

6 hours return

OKITAMA HA-YAMA

Okitama Ha-yama is a mountain on the southern edge of the Asahi Renpo (alps) on the borders of Nagai City and the towns of Asahi and Shirataka. There are a number of Ha-yama in Yamagata Prefecture, and this one is most often referred to as “Nagai Ha-yama” (Okitama is the name of the region within Yamagata Prefecture).

There are wetlands near Okitama Ha-yama, a rare sight for the Asahi Renpo, as well as a unmanned mountain hut (Hayama Sanso), toilets, and Hayama Jinja.

When hiking Okitama Hayama be warned as the current paths cross former paths at multiple points along the way.

Shirousagi Trail (3 hours one-way, go with someone experienced with hiking on snow)

The Shirousaghi Trail starts in the Shirousagi region of Nagai City. The trailhead is located in front of the Hayama Shinrin Koen (park). The trail is essentially straight through a forest, which becomes increasingly steeper as the trail rises. There are many slippery areas so due care must be taken. There is also some spring water from rocks about 10 minutes away from the summit.

There is a city-run bus leaving from Nagai City Hall to Zokyo, about 2km from the trailhead. The trailhead is also 2.5km away from [Shirousagi Station] on the [Flower Nagai Line] operated by Yamagata Railway.

Kusaoka Trail (3 hours one-way)

The Kusaoka Trail starts in the Kusaoka region of Nagai City. Once past the Jomon Mura, there is a stone called Oishi Daimyojin that marks the trailhead. As soon as you start the hike there is one part that requires fording the river, so you have to be careful of the water level. After about an hour of climbing up a few zig-zags there is the [Okesabori] well. Keep following the path through the forest and you will reach the summit. Along the way the trail meets with the trail from Kanjindai, as well as the Showaseki Trail, so be careful not to get lost. Once the trail levels out, the Hayama Sanso is close.

There is a city-run bus leaving from Nagai City Hall to Nakazato, about 1.5km from the trailhead. There is also the Kusaoka Daimyojin Sakura (cherry blossom) near the Nakazato bus stop.

Kanjindai Trail (3.5 hours one-way from the gate)

The Kanjindai Trail starts in the Kanjindai region of Nagai City. Follow the arrows alongside the farming roads and once you enter the forest there will be a sign about the mountain. Here you will have to get out of your car as there is a gate. Walk the forest path about 30minutes and you will find the trailhead. The trail itself is a little steep, but is relatively easy to walk on. Along the way there is a junction that heads to the remains of the Kankane Hall and a beech forest walk, so be careful not to lose your way. About one hour into the hike there is a lookout over Nagai City to the south, and another 45 minutes along the path and the trail meets with the Kusaoka Trail.

There is a city-run bus leaving from Nagai City Hall to Zokyo, about 3km from the trailhead. Since the trailhead is only 1.5km from the Shirousagi Trailhead it’s also possible to do a loop.

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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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