TIM BUNTING

KIWI YAMABUSHI

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SHOJIGA-TAKE (Mt. Shojigatake)

しょうじがたけ 

100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata

障子ヶ岳

Mountain along the Asahi Renpo famous for its rockface reminiscent of Japanese paper screens (Shoji).

One of the main peaks along the Asahi Renpo (Asahi Alps) straddling the borders of Yamagata and Niigata Prefectures.

SHOJIGA-TAKE

Mt. Shojigatake, Mt. Shoji, Mount Shojigatake, Mount Shoji, Shojigatake Mountain

障子ヶ岳しょうじがたけ 

Shojiga-take (障子ヶ岳しょうじがたけ) is a 1482m (4862 ft.) peak in the Murayama and Shonai regions of Yamagata prefecture best climbed from June to October. Shojiga-take is a level 4 in terms of physical demand, which means it is relatively hard to hike, has a B technical grade, which means it doesn’t require too much expertise, and you want to allow at least 8.5 hours for a climb.

Mountain Range

Asahi Renpo

Region

Shonai, Murayama

Elevation

1482m (4862 ft.)

Technical Demand

B (doesn’t require too much expertise)

Physical Demand

4 (relatively hard to hike)

Trails

Two: 1) Southern Trail (6 hours one-way), 2) Northern Trail (4 hours 15 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb

June to October

Day trip possible?

Yes

Minimum Time Required

8.5 hours return

SHOJIGA-TAKE

Shojiga-take is a rocky peak that deviates to the north from Sanpozakai (Mt. Sanpozakai) along the Asahi Renpo (mountain range) also known as Futatsusekioneagari (I’m not sure on this reading, yamagatayama.com please add furigana!!!). The mountain is located on the borders of Tsuruoka City in the former Asahi Village and Nishikawa Town in the Nishimurayama District. The Shoji refers to the rock face that looks like a Shoji screen found in Japanese houses. Called Murasaki Nade, the southern face is made up of a slab of rock that drops 300m into the Nakasaki-sawa part of the Oisawa-gawa River. The rock face is one of the most famous rock faces along the Asahi Renpo along with the eastern face of Iwaigame-yama that lies to the south, and the eastern face of Ezura-ho.

The trailhead with the shortest distance to the summit is in Oisawa, Nishikawa Town, which is split into two trails meaning you can use a different way there and back.

The Asahi Renpo (Asahi Alps)

The mountains on the Asahi Renpo also on the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata are (from north to south) Shojiga-take, Ito-dake, Tengusumotori-yamaTorihara-yamaKoasahi-dakeOsasahi-dake, and Okitama Ha-yama.

Southern Trail (6 hours one-way)

The southern trail starts from Minamimatasawadeai (that’s seriously the name of the place). Taking a left in front of the bridge along the main flow of the Oisawa River, cross the bridge Minamimata-sawa river and enjoy the view of larch, beech, and himekomatsu (Pinus pentaphylla) trees. There is a water source near Takigatake, but be warned that the water is not always flowing depending on the time of year. Once past the water source, there is a cobblestone path, and once past the precipitation measurement station you will arrive at Kurihata where the split between Shojiga-take and Tengusumotori-yama is. Take a right here, and there is one last ridge to climb until you reach the summit of Shojiga-take. From the summit you can see the Asahi Renpo in all their glory.

Northern Trail (4 hours 15 minutes one-way)

The Northern Trail up Shojiga-take is short and sharp. Well, comparatively. The proper trailhead is at the end of the forest road alongside the Oisawa-gawa River. However, this road isn’t always accessible so you have to start to the right of Minamisawadeai and add 30 minutes to the time. After crossing the small stream at the end of the forest road, the ascent starts proper. After about 3 hours of climbing you will arrive at the Murasaki Nade. From there keep going along the relatively flat trail and after the Koshoji peak you will soon find yourself at the summit. This trail requires fitness and climbing rocks, and the grass along the trail isn’t always cut, so be sure to adjust your hiking plans accordingly.

Resources

Yamagatayama.com

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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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