TAKATORI-YAMA (Mt. Takatori)


Hiking Guide to the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture



Small peak on the edge of Nakayama Town famous for its Kannon Temple and the views it commands.

Takatori-yama is a mountain with a summit covered in ancient pine trees on the northern edge of Shirataka Hill in Nakayama Machi. The trail boasts views of Gassan, Zao-san, and the Asahi Renpo, as well as the sacred mountain Iwayakannon-yama complete with Iwayajuhachiya Kannon (a temple with a statue of Kannon), as well as the Murayama basin.

There are three trails up Takatori-yama in total locals use throughout the year. It’s possible to go up and down on different trails, and there are trails for beginner hikers too. In winter, Takatori-yama is popular among snowshoe enthusiasts.

Dobashi Trail (30 minutes one-way)

The Dobashi Trail is the easiest of the three trails and that hikers of all levels love. Heading west from Toyoda Elementary School, keep following the signs leading to the trailhead. There is space near the trailhead to park your car. The trail has some ups and downs, but overall it is not too steep and well maintained. There are benches and signs telling you the halfway point, so you can climb up at your own pace.

Just before the summit there is the Shinzoyaburi-no-Saka slope that is a bit tough to climb, but there are also other not-so-steep trails you can take. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lookout near the summit. However, if you head east there is an open area with a lookout from where you can see Yamagata and Tendo Cities, as well as the Zao Renpo, Futakuchisan-kai, and the Funagata Renpo.

Shin Trail (30 to 40 minutes one-way)

The trailhead for the Shin trail is located to the north of Yamagata Celltop. There is a small incline at the start that gradually increases after the wooden bridge and inside the cedar forest. Once at the top, head south along the northern ridge. In early spring and late autumn you can see the Asahi Renpo through the trees. Take a left at the last junction, and you’ll find yourself at the summit.

Oka Trail (30 to 40 minutes one-way)

Park your car at the same spot as the Shin Trail but start on the opposite side of Yamagata Celltop. Head to the west where you’ll see signs for the trial. The Oka trail is rather level at first, but after a while you hit the western side and a long incline. Take note, along the way there are parts that get very muddy. Once at the top of the incline, the trail meets with the Dobashi Trail, and you’re essentially at the summit.

Places Nearby Worth Checking Out

Onigiri Rice Ball Mountain: Chitose-yama

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

Loaction of Tohoku’s Battle of Sekigahara: Togami-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.


Mt. Takatori, Mt. Takatori-yama, Mt. Takatoriyama, Takatoriyama

Small peak on the edge of Nakayama Town famous for its Kannon Temple and the views it commands.


Takatori-yama (高取山たかとりやま) is a 271m (889. ft.) peak in the Murayama region of Yamagata prefecture open year-round. Takatori-yama 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 30 minutes one-way for a hike up Takatori-yama.

Mountain Range





271m (889. ft.)

Technical Demand

A (doesn’t require much expertise)

Physical Demand

1 (easy to hike)


Three: 1) Dobashi Trail (30 minutes one-way), 2) Shin Trail (30 to 40 minutes one-way), 3) Oka Trail (30 to 40 minutes one-way)

Best time to climb


Day trip possible?


Minimum Time Required

1 hour


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