Upside-down Sake Cup Mountain: SAKAZUKI-YAMA (Mt. Sakazuki)

さかずきやま 

Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture

盃山

SAKAZUKI-YAMA

Upside-down sake cup-shaped mountain in the middle of Yamagata City with great views and a famous shrine at the summit.

A Sakazuki is a cup for drinking sake. As the name suggests, Sakazuki-yama is a small mountain that looks like an upturned sake cup. Sakazuki-yama is as close to the centre of Yamagata City as a mountain can be. Along with nearby Chitose-yama, many locals use the mountain for taking a stroll. Spectacularly, the leaves change with the seasons, and many wild birds visit making it a feast for the senses.

Along the northern Kita Trailhead there is a lookout over central Yamagata city. From here in the distance you can see the Zao Renpo and Gassan.

Lastly, Furumine Jinja at the summit is a shrine known to miraculously ward off disaster.

Sakazuki-yama Higashi (East) Trail (20 minutes one-way)

The Higashi Trail starts in the east and heads through a forest to Furumine Jinja at the summit. Since it is only 20 minutes one-way, this is a very easy trail to hike. From the summit you get views of central Yamagata City from up close. In the distance, you can see The Asahi Renpo and Shirataka-yama.

Sakazuki-yama Kita (North) Trail (30 minutes one-way)

The Kita Trail begins in Sotsuki-machi, Yamagata City, and has a lookout on the way up to the summit. This trail is the main promenade to Furumine Jinja. As such, there are three sets of Torii gates to pass through on the way to the summit. Take note, the Kita Trailhead does not have a carpark.

Places nearby to check out

Onigiri Rice Ball Mountain: Chitose-yama

Chitose-yama is a triangular rice-ball shaped mountain in Yamagata City famous for its red pine forest, and the legend of Akoya-hime, Princess Akoya.

Togami-yama (Tokami-yama)

Togami-yama is a triangular mountain that was the location of one of Japan's fiercest battles, and was the reason why Yamagata Castle was named Kajo.

SAKAZUKI-YAMA

盃山さかずきやま 

Mt. Sakazuki, Sakazukiyama, Mt. Sakazukiyama, Mt. Sakazuki-yama

Sakazuki-yama (盃山さかずきやま) is a 270m (885. ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture open year-round. Sakazuki-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 40 minutes for a hike.

Mountain Range

Sakazuki-yama

Region

Murayama

Elevation

270m (885. ft.)

Technical Demand

A (requires little expertise)

Physical Demand

1 (easy to hike)

Trails

Two: 1) Higashi (East) Trail (20 minutes one-way), 2) Kita (North) Trail (30 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb

Year-round

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

20 minutes one-way on the Higashi Trail

Google Map with trailheads and summit.

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

FROM THE REGION

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Mythical Beasts, Buddha’s Mother, and buried Yamabushi treasure? Welcome to Maya-san (Mt. Maya).
The Autumn Leaves of Mount Taizo
The Epitome of Autumn Leaves in North Japan: Taizo-san (Mt. Taizo)
Yozo-san: White Snakes, White Monkeys and Slimy Salamanders (Mt. Yozo)

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