A Loop Course to Mt. Ibuki from Sky Terrace | HIKES IN JAPAN

A Loop Course to Mt. Ibuki from Sky Terrace

Explore a mountain famed for its flowers at your leisure along an easy walking path.
  • Duration
    1Day / 1.5Hours
    Highest Point
    Elevation Gain
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level
Mt. Ibuki (Ibuki-yama) is located on the border of Gifu and Shiga prefectures and is listed among Japan's 100 most famous mountains. Various species of alpine flowers bloom throughout July and August on the level grasslands around the mountain peak. There is also a route which approaches the peak via a gondola ride and mountainside hike from the Shiga Prefecture side. However, the trail introduced here starts from the Ninth Station at Sky Terrace, which is on the Ibukiyama Driveway right under the mountain top. It’s an easy route that allows you to enjoy hiking with little exertion.

From the Sky Terrace parking lot, set out for a round trip hike to the peak via the Nishi (west) trail. From the gravel-covered hiking trail, you can also enjoy views of Japan’s largest lake, Lake Biwa-ko. From the Sky Terrace parking lot, it’s about a 40 minute walk to the mountaintop. At the peak, you will find a statue of the legendary Japanese Prince, Yamato Takeru, as well as a mountain hut, toilets, and other facilities. For the return hike, follow the descent-only path to the Higashi (east) trail and make your way back to the parking lot.

The hike begins along a gently sloping path of red clay soil, but in time you will begin to see a series of limestone rock faces. The level path gradually gives way to a slope before you come to some steep wooden stairs. After about an hour of walking from the peak, you will arrive at Sky Terrace parking lot. A variety of alpine flora blooms from July to August to turn the grasslands around the trail into flowery meadows.

The “Plant Communities of Mt. Ibuki’s Peak” have been officially designated a National Natural Monument. Several of the plant species endemic to Mt. Ibuki bear the mountain’s name, including: Ibukijakoso (Thymus quinquecostatus), Ibukireijinso (Aconitum chrysopilum), and Ibukiazumi (Ibuki thistle). You can also see the colorful blossoms of shimotsukeso (Filipendula), kugaiso (Veronicastrum japonicum), and Shishiudo (wild celery) along the way.

Other Info

If you only have a short time to spend in the area or are forced to cut your visit short by bad weather, you should take the Chuo (central) trail. It involves hiking up the steep steps set up along the slope, but allows you to reach the peak from Sky Terrace in about 20 minutes.

High Season:May to November


This trail is a relatively easy hiking course with no obstructing objects around the grasslands in the area of the peak. Since the peak time for viewing alpine flora occurs during midsummer, it is necessary take precautions against heatstroke such as wearing a hat and regularly re-hydrating by drinking water. And in the event of a thunderstorm, proceed immediately to a cafe or mountain hut in the area of the peak.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)


1Day / 1.5Hours
Highest Point
1377m(Mt. Ibuki)
Elevation Gain
Horizontal Distance
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail


Shousenkan Mountain Cafe


Sky terrace Ibukiyama, Shousenkan Mountain Cafe


Ibuki Yakusono-Sato Culture Center Joy-Ibuki




Mt. Ibuki is located on the border of Gifu and Shiga prefectures. From Tokyo Station, take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya Station (approx. an hour and 45 minutes). From Nagoya Station, take a Tokaido Honsen special express train to Ogaki Station (approx. 30 minutes).

From Ogaki Station, get on the Meihan Kintestu Ogaki Ibukiyama bus and travel to Ibukiyama (approx. an hour and 45 minutes). This bus only operates from mid-July through late August.



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