OZAKAI-YAMA

おおざかいやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

大境山

OZAKAI-YAMA

Ozakai-yama is a mountain along the borders of Yamagata and Niigata that is a 100 Famous Mountain of Niigata famous for its wetlands and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Located along the Yamagata-Niigata border, Ozakai-yama is also a peak on Niigata’s list of 100 Famous Mountains. There is a 360° panorama at the summit on the ridge along the prefectural border. From here, to the south you can see the Ide Renpo, to the north the Asahi Renpo, to the east the Zao Renpo and Azuma Renpo.

The trailhead is along the prefectural road in Oguni Town’s Nakatayamazaki area, and there’s enough space for five cars to park there. From start to finish there is a steep incline, and there are muddy areas near the wetlands and ponds close the summit to be aware of. Make sure you bring proper footwear, in other words.

Ozakai-yama Tozan (Hiking) Trail (3.5 hours one-way)

There is a sign pointing the way to the trailhead in between the sake shop and the drain along Route 260 in Oguni Town’s Nakatayamazaki region. Follow the left hand side of the drain taking a left at the sign, then the third right where the trail starts proper.

Passing the wetlands, and crossing the small stream, the trail is rather wide and comes out of a beech and Mizunara (also known as Mongolian Oak) forest from around 600 m (1969 ft.) of elevation. The first part of the trail is rather level, however it quickly gets steep. Unfortunately (or not), this lasts all the way to the summit.

Right in front of the prefectural border there is a lookout with views from east to north. The trail along border goes downhill for a bit and crosses a stream. There is another incline that comes out at the main ridge. Then it’s just a matter of following this ridge. However, there are a number of peaks that appear to be the summit but are not. Just in front of the summit there is a huge lake, and this area gets very slippery. The clearing at the summit of Ozakai-yama isn’t that big. However, there are great views that make climbing all the way well worth it.

OZAKAI-YAMA

大境山おおざかいやま 

Mt. Ozakai, Mt. Ozakaiyama, Ozakaiyama

Ozakai-yama (大境山おおざかいやま) is a 1102m (3615 ft.) peak in the Okitama Region of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from June to November. Ozakai-yama is a level 3 in terms of physical demand, which means it is moderate to hike, has a B technical grade, which means it doesn't require too much expertise. Allow at least 3.5 hours one-way for a climb.

Mountain Range

Ozakai-Yama

Region

Okitama

Elevation

1102m (3615 ft.)

Technical Demand

B (requires some expertise)

Physical Demand

3 (moderate hike)

Trails

Ozakai-yama Tozan (Hiking) Trail (3.5 hours one-way)

Best time to climb

June to November

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

3.5 hours one-way on the Ozakai-yama Tozan (Hiking) Trail

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

FROM THE REGION

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)
Venerable Old Man Mountain — The Mist and Mystery of Okina-san (Mt. Okina)

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