Hiking in the Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen area: Iwaido Mountain

April 29th, 2009 by
Category: Outdoor Activities
Iwaido-san as seen from Kamiyamada

Iwaido-san as seen from Kamiyamada

 

Chikuma River Valley as seen from the top of Iwaido-san

Chikuma River Valley as seen from the top of Iwaido-san

 

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.

Eating "omusubi" rice balls at the top of "omusubi-yama"

Eating "omusubi" rice balls at the top of "omusubi-yama"

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!

Can you see Kamesei?
Can you see Kamesei?

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.

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