In between Kamiyamada and neighboring Sakaki Town is 793 meter tall Iwaido Mountain. It has an almost perfect pyramid shape, just like a “omusubi” (rice ball), and is nicknamed “Omusubi-yama”. Today being Showa Day, a national holiday, I took our sons and hiked up to the top.
On the way up, we saw several wild mountain cherry trees in bloom, and there were lots of “sansai” wild mountain vegetables at the top. Besides great views of the Chikuma River valley below, there was also the remains of a signal fire station from the Warring States Era. That’s what I like about Nagano — spectacular nature combined with fascinating history.
We can see Omusubi-yama from our inn’s second floor rooms, but this was the first time from me to see our inn from the mountain!
Access With a 4WD vehicle, you can drive to within 1km (30 min.) of the top via the fire road on the Kamiyamada side. If not, start hiking from Shonai Shrine, Kamiyamada. Closest Bus Stop: Chikaraishi 4-Kumi Shukaisho.