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Round Trip Hike to Mt. Hayachine via the Odakoshi Trail

Hike along a short trail to a mountain peak famed for its flowers.
  • Duration
    1Day / 4Hours
    Highest Point
    1917m
    Elevation Gain
    668m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

Mt. Hayachine (Hayachine-san) is the highest peak in the Kitakami Mountain Range which stretches through the east of Iwate Prefecture in Japan’s Tohoku region. It is listed among Japan's 100 most famous mountains. Endemic plant species such as hayachineusuyukiso (Leontopodium hyachinennse) as well as akaezomatsu (Picea glehnii) which is only found on Japan’s main island, Honshu, grow naturally in the area. In recognition of its precious natural environment, the surrounding area has been designated as the Hayachine Quasi-National Park. The shortest course to the peak, from Kawarano-bo Trail, is off limits to hikers as of this year (2019), due to erosion and crumbling rocks on the trail. The course introduced here is a round trip hike along the shortest trail currently in use: the Odakoshi Trail.

At the Odakoshi trailhead, you will find a guard station along with some public toilets. From the trailhead, walk along a wooden walkway at eventually the trail will enter a forest area. There have been some bear attacks in the Hayachine of late. For this reason, hikers departing in the early morning or times when few people are on the trail are advised to attach small bells to their packs or play radios to make noise that discourages bears from approaching.

After about 30 minutes, you will emerge above the treeline and the trail will become a rocky slope lined with serpentine rock formations. Ropes are set up along the trail to help preserve the surrounding vegetation. After about an hour and 20 minutes of hiking from the Odakoshi trailhead, you will arrive at the Fifth Station, Okanegura.

Hike up a slope strewn with large rocks and through a stone pine belt, then climb up a ladder positioned at a shallow angle over a broad rock face. Proceed along a gentle section of trail through another stone pine belt. About an hour after departing the Fifth Station, the trail will turn into a wooden walkway and you will be at Mt. Hayachine’s peak where a shelter hut is located. There is a toilet enclosure in the shelter near the peak, but to use it you must bring a portable toilet with you. You may purchase these items at the guard station and other locations near the trailhead. After using a portable toilet, you can dispose of it in a specially designated box at the trailhead.

For the return hike, retrace the course back to the trailhead.

Other Info

A flowering plant called hayachineusuyukiso (Leontopodium hyachinennse), which is said to resemble the Edelweiss of western countries, is endemic to Mt. Hayachine. Currently, it is a rare form of vegetation at risk of extinction. The plant’s white flowers typically bloom from July to August each year.

Notes

While Mt. Hayachine is famed for its flowers, the serpentine rock surfaces that make up much of the trail pose a risk of slipping and falling. You are advised to exercise special care with your footing during and after rainfall. Despite Mt. Hayachine’s image as a mountain with flowers which can be reached by a short hike, there are ladders just beneath the ridgeline and the hike should be approached with caution.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day / 4Hours
Highest Point
1917m(Mt. Hayachine)
Elevation Gain
668m
Horizontal Distance
4.9Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Odakoshi-goya, Hayachinesan-hinan-goya

Eating

Hanamaki Onsen

Hot-Springs

Hanamaki Onsen

Instagram

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Access

Mt. Hayachine is located in the east of Iwate Prefecture in the Tohoku region of Japan. From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Shinhanamaki Station (approx. 3 hours).
From Shin-Hanamaki Station , take a Family Kanko Iwate non-stop bus to Odakoshi (approx. an hour and 20 minutes). However, please be aware that this bus operates only once a day on designated weekends and holidays from June to September.

Links

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