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Mt. Kinbo from Yutagawa

Mountains are different every single day you go up them. It’s probably why even climbing them repeatedly can still be fun. Today we got to explore a new side of Kinbo that I had never experienced, but it was still familiar.

Today we climbed Mt. Kinbo from a different route and in entirely different conditions. In February when we climbed, there was about 50cm of snow, and it took us about 5 hours all up. Today though, there was only little patches of snow left, and it took us 2 and a half hours all up. The path we took was the back way up Yutagawa, and I quite enjoyed it.

When you go up the main route from Shoryuji temple, you go straight into the forest. In the forest and along the path there are a number of relics and statues. Today from Yutagawa, we walked about 30 minutes up the mountain street, through tiny hamlets full of olden style Japanese farming houses complete with Kura storehouses, before we reached the Torii that mark the entrance to the mountain.

There was a bit of bush to climb up, including the Kinbo bridge which was like 1m long, and a cedar forest that opened out to a mountain path. This path carries on up to the taller Yorogamine and Hokariyama mountains that I hope to get to sometime soon. This path connects to the main road to the shrine.

After we got back, we spent some time in the foot spa of Yutagawa, and got coffee at Tsukasaya Ryokan, that I’ve mentioned on here before.

If you’re quick, you can probably get up that path in about 90 minutes return. I recommend it for people who still want a bit of a challenge, but maybe can’t go that far yet. The climb was tough at times, but only for a little bit, and there were a few spots to stop for great views.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


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 link). 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.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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