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The Autumn Leaves of Mount Taizo


Thoughts on climbing the first 15 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata

So far this year I’ve done 15 mountains. I’m still working on the video for 14) Mt. Taizo, and then I have the article and video for 15) Mt. Hokari, but I’m going to have to bump up the pace if I’m to finish within three years. It means next year I will need to do at least 48 mountains to get to 66%, and with the seasons and everything, that’s going to be more than one a week for a lot of the year. I guess I’m going to have to do multiple mountains in one trip, especially for those further away.

Also over the winter, when there is not much point in trying to summit the majority of the mountains here (Mt. Haguro and Mt. Kinbo are still doable, but that’s about as high as you can go), so I’m going to have to make videos here at home I guess. I have a few ideas, but am definitely going to miss checking out these new mountains! I’ve had so much fun over the past year.

The biggest problem was that there was a huge gap between many of the mountains. The first half of the year I think I did 4, and that’s not really good enough. The past few months I’ve been able to bump up my numbers, sometimes going weeks in a row, and there were also a few over summer I got to summit.

They were a good lesson in that summer isn’t really the time to climb lower mountains. So, next year I’ll aim to hit up the taller ones during the summer, which I can now more easily find with this list (although it is in a bit of a desperate need of an update). Either way, I have to plot my next mountains of attack. Mt. Yozo might just still be doable this month if the stars align.

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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