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Hike of a Sacred Mountain, Mt. Hoki-daisen; Round Trip from the Natsuyama Hiking Course

An easily traversed route to the Chugoku region’s highest peak.
  • Duration
    1Day / 5.5Hours
    Highest Point
    1709m
    Elevation Gain
    957m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level
Mt. Hoki-daisen, also called as Mt. Daisen, is located in Tottori Prefecture in the Chugoku region of Japan. The area around the mountain has been designated as the Daisen-Oki National Park and the mountain itself is listed as among Japan's 100 most famous mountains. In addition to being the highest peak in the Chugoku region, Mt. Hoki-daisen has been revered by followers of the Shugendo religion for many centuries. The base of the mountain has strong elements of religious culture; Daisen Gyuba Ichi, which was born of the Jizo faith and is Japan’s largest cow and horse market has been recognized as a Japan Heritage site. The route introduced here is a round trip hike which follows the well-maintained Natsuyama hiking course.

From the Daisenji Temple bus stop, walk along the paved path for about 15 minutes to reach the Natsuyama trailhead.

Climb the stone steps and proceed past the Amida-do Temple and continue on up the steps of the path through an old growth forest of Japanese beech trees.

Next, the trail winds through a stretch of shrubbery and merges with the Gyojadani course. From the Natsuyama trailhead, it’s about an hour and 40 minute hike to the Sixth Station where you will see a shelter hut. From here, hike up the steep rocky slope to reach the next segment of the route, which consists of easy to climb wooden steps.

From the Ninth Station, follow the wood covered path through clusters of daisenkyaraboku (a species of Japanese yew endemic to the area). It takes about an hour and 20 minutes from the Sixth Station to the peak of Mt. Misen, where you will see a shelter hut.

Because of the danger of crumbling rocks due to erosion near the mountain’s true summit, Kengamine, hikers are not permitted to climb to it. Mt. Misen is therefore highest point that hikers can access.

For the return hike, follow the same course in reverse.

Other Info

Daisen-ji is a Buddhist temple and is located at the trailhead. It was founded to mark the opening of the mountain in the 8th century and gives a strong sense of the mountain’s history of religious devotion. Inside the Amida-do Temple, a statue of Amitabha (celestial Buddha) is enshrined. It is listed as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.


High Season:May to October

Notes

The ridge in the area near Mt. Daisen’s summit continues to be affected by erosion. The true summit is the 1729 m Kengamine, but the danger of crumbling and falling rocks has led to the peak being declared off limits to hikers. For this reason, the highest point accessible on the route described here is Mt. Misen.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day / 5.5Hours
Highest Point
1709m
Elevation Gain
957m
Horizontal Distance
5.6Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Sixth Station hinan-goya, Daisen-chojo-hinan-goya

Eating

Goenyuin

Hot-Springs

Goenyuin

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Access

Mt. Daisen is located in Tottori Prefecture in the Sanin area of Japan’s Chugoku region. From Tokyo Station, take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Okayama Station (approx. 3 hours and 10minutes). From Okayama Station, transfer to the Yakumo express train bound for Izumo City and travel to Yonago Station (approx. 2 hours and 13 minutes).
From Yonago Station, transfer to a Nihon Kotsu bus and travel to Daisen-ji Temple (approx. 50 minutes).

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