My Favourite Hikes in Yamagata So Far

Until now, I have summited 29 of the 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata.

You’ll see that I put an emphasis on backstory. There are so many legends in Yamagata Prefecture, and many that involve mountains that for me really make the hike. You’re not just hiking the mountain for the sake of hiking, you’re hiking to experience a slice of history that in some cases is millennia old. That for me is the real charm of hiking in Yamagata.

Without further ado, here are my top five hikes in no particular order:

Arakura-yama: A mountain with views of cherry blossoms, the Sea of Japan, and the tiny port town of Yura, all topped off with a mystical forest shrine.

Okina-san: A mountain on the edge of Yamagata Prefecture with a scintillating backstory that keeps you intrigued at every turn on the misty peak.

Maya-san: A former Shugendo mountain with another legendary backstory, and buried yamabushi treasure.

Yozo-san: Part of an ancient trail between the eastern and western coasts of northern Japan with a crazy backstory full of unique places to explore like frog ponds and phantom falls.

Taizo-san: Just an all-round amazing hike through the autumn leaves.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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