OTAKANE-YAMA (Mt. Otakane)

おおたかねやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

大高根山

OTAKANE-YAMA

Mountain straddling the borders of Oishida Town and Murayama City that is a great place for taking in the mountain cherry blossoms in Spring, and for a general bush walk.

Otakane-yama is a peak on the borders of Murayama City and Oishida Town. Viewed from the plains of Murayama, there are four peaks in a row, and Otakane-yama is the one to the north that looks like the keel of a ship. Behind Otakane-yama lies Murayama Hayama

There are two trailheads along the Kodaira forest road that are about 10 minutes’ walk apart from each other meaning it’s very easy to enjoy both of these trails in one go. The trails are entirely dirt, with zero rocky areas, although some steeper areas do require ropes. The Ashi Narashi Trail is great for more-experienced hikers. 

Kodo Sugibayashi Trail (50 minutes one-way)

There is a car park at that Kodo Sugibayashi Trailhead, which starts through a cedar forest for about 20 minutes. After a while the trail slowly opens up through the forest to good views. Another 20 minutes or so and the view towards central Oishida and Murayama becomes more apparent, and ten minutes later you’ll find yourself at the summit. There are a few large oak trees along the trail, and the great views make you forget your fatigue. 

Shindozan-no-Kami Trail (50 minutes one-way)

This trailhead also has a car park. About five minutes in there is a small shrine called ‘yama no kami’ (the mountain Kami (deity) between two giant pines to pray for safe travels up the mountain. About ten minutes from the summit there is a good view out to the northern peak, and there are azaleas along the ridge to the summit. Particularly famous is hiking on snow from late April till early May when the mountain cherry blossoms are out in full bloom. 

Hachimori-yama Trail (90 minutes one-way)

The newer Hachimori-yama trail offers a number of ups and downs and great views. Instead of heading for Otakane-yama from the Kodo Sugibayashi Trailhead, this trail goes straight for the hairpins and great views of Hachimori-yama first. The path down is steep, and from the summit of Hachimori-yama there is the Akamatsu peak and ridge past Iwakura-yama to take you to Otakane-yama. It’s also possible to return on either of the other two trails. 

OTAKANE-YAMA

大高根山おおたかねやま 

Mt. Otakaneyama, Mt. Otakakane, Mt. Otakane-yama

Otakane-yama (大高根山おおたかねやま) is a 543m (1781 ft.) peak in the Shonai region of Yamagata prefecture. Otakane-yama is best climbed from June to mid-November. Otakane-yama is a level 1 in terms of physical demand, which means it is easy to hike, has a A technical grade, which means it requires little expertise, and you want to allow at least 1 hour 40 minutes for a climb.

Mountain Range

Otakane-yama

Region

Murayama

Elevation

543m (1781 ft.)

Technical Demand

A (requires little expertise)

Physical Demand

1 (easy to hike)

Trails

Three) 1) Kodo Sugibayashi Trail (50 minutes one-way), 2) Shindozan-no-Kami Trail (50minutes one-way), 3) Hachimori-yama Trail (90 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb

June to November

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

1 hour 40 return

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

FROM THE REGION

Mt. Chokai
North Japan’s Tallest Peak: Chokai-san
Mt. Atsumi in Atsumi Onsen, a quaint Onsen Hot Spring town in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture
Reaching Peak Tranquility: Atsumi-dake (Mt. Atsumi)
Exploring The Yamabushi Trails of Kinbo-zan (Mt. Kinbo)

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