Mountain of Intrigue: OMOSHIRO-YAMA

おもしろやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

面白山

OMOSHIRO-YAMA

Popular destination with something for all levels of hikers boasting breathtaking autumn views, waterfalls, mountain streams, and more.

The name Omoshiro-yama supposedly comes from Shiroi-yama ‘white mountain’. There are many trails in the general area, and along with Minamiomoshiro-yama, there are plenty of places to explore for everyone from beginners to advanced hikers. Access to Omoshiro-yama is good as well, with the trails readily hikeable from Omoshiro-yama Kogen Station on the JR Senzan Line.

Both Minamiomoshiro-yama and Omishiro-yama boast outstanding views, from where you can see Gassan, The Asahi Renpo, and other famous mountains of southern Tohoku. Many come from near and far to see the fresh greenery of spring and summer, and the autumn leaves. Also recommended is a walk amongst the autumn leaves of the Momijigawa Keikaku gorge.

Chozaemondaira Trail up Omoshiro-yama (3 hours 40 one-way)

The Chozaemondaira Trailhead is located right next to Omoshiro-yama Kogen station. The trail first takes you along a gorge with waterfalls, swing bridges, and beech forests. As the route follows a mountain stream, there are many places that you have to cross. Once at the top of the path along the mountain stream you will come out at the Chozaemondaira plateau. Head north here (left) and you’ll come across a ridge with spectacular views. Once over Nakaomoshiro-yama, the summit lies at the end of the ridge.

Tendo Kogen Trail (2 hours one-way)

The Tendo Kogen Trail uses the relatively level Nishi-one Trail taking you via the Chomeisui spring and Misawa-san to the summit. The trail from Misawa-san to Omoshiro-yama has amazing views and some steep parts, but overall it is very level, meaning it’s great even for beginners. The Tendo Kogen trail is also accessible from Omoshiro-yama Kogen Station.

Kamoshika Trail (2 hours 40 one-way)

The Kamoshika Trailhead is located on the other side of the bridge that goes over the railway lines near Omoshiro-yama Kogen station. This trail has a lot of ups and downs until the Chozaemon path. Once across the Chozaemon junction, there is a steep climb all the way to the summit. The Kamoshika Trail gets very slippery when wet, so be careful on the way down.

Places Nearby Worth Checking Out

Maizuru-yama

The mountain castle of Maizuru-yama (舞鶴山まいづるやま) is a 242m (793. ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata. Maizuru-yama is a popular destination for locals of Tendo City who flock to the mountain for the annual human chess battle during the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival). Best climbed from April to November, you want to allow at least 1 hour one-way for a hike up Maizuru-yama.

Rainmaker Mountain: Amayobari-yama

Amayobari-yama (雨呼山あまよばりやま) is a former Shugendo peak known for its magical ability to make rain fall. The mountain is a 906m (2972 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture. Amayobari-yama is best climbed from May to mid-November. It is a level 1 in terms of physical demand, which means it is easy to hike. The mountain has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise. Allow at least 90 minutes one-way hours for a hike up Amayobari-yama.

Crystal Mountain: SUISHO-ZAN

Suisho-zan (Crystal Mountain) is a popular mountain for hiking on the borders of Tendo and Higashine Cities. The mountain is a 668m (2191 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from May to mid-November. Suisho-zan 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. Allow at least 1 hour one-way for a hike up Suisho-zan.

OMOSHIRO-YAMA

面白山おもしろやま 

Mt. Omoshiroyama, Mt. Omoshiro-yama, Mt. Omoshiro, Omoshiroyama

Omoshiro-yama (面白山おもしろやま) is a 1264m (4146 ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from May to mid-November. Omoshiro-yama is a level 2 in terms of physical demand, which means it is relatively easy to hike. The mountain has an A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise. Allow at least 2 hours one-way for a hike up Omoshiro-yama.

Mountain Range

Omoshiro-yama

Region

Murayama

Elevation

1264m (4146 ft.)

Technical Demand

A (requires little expertise)

Physical Demand

2 (relatively easy to hike)

Trails

Three

Best time to climb

May to mid-November

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

4 hours

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

FROM THE REGION

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Mt. Chokai
North Japan’s Tallest Peak: Chokai-san
The Heavenly Hideaway of Daizumori-yama

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