fbpx
    • Spring
      • Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Northern Tohoku’s Top 5 Spring Hikes

        Chase the cherry blossoms north and enjoy five of Tohoku’s best hikes this spring.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Haga Farm Spring Glamping in Tochigi

        Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi opened in August 2020, and it has quickly become a popular escape for Tokyoites.
    • Summer
      • Climbing Mt. Fuji Outdoor Japan

        Peaking in 2021: Climbing Mt. Fuji

        Thinking of climbing Mt. Fuji this summer? We talk to Mt. Fuji guides on best practices for scaling Japan's highest mountain.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Outdoor Japan Organic Market Online

        Market Watch: Summer Organics Delivered

        Go online shopping for organic vegetables and support local farmers throughout Japan.
    • Autumn
      • video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi by Camper Van

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Winter
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Outdoor Japan Shimoda

        Blue Waves and Black Ships in Shimoda

        Shimoda may be famous for its white sandy beaches and surfing, but it also played a major role in shaping the Japan we know today.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Pacific Solo

        Preacher-tu...
    • River and Lake
      • Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endanger...

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkai...

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor A...

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
        video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi ...

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • hiroshima skiing osorakan snow parkvideo

        Hiroshima Skiing at Osorakan Snow Park

        Enjoy skiing and snowboarding just an hour from Hiroshima at Osorakan Snow Park. Every winter, people from Kansai and Kyushu flock to one of the region’s most popular ski resorts for winter fun.
    • Travel
      • Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Outdoor Japan Organic Market Online

        Market Watch: Summer Organics Delivered

        Go online shopping for organic vegetables and support local farmers throughout Japan.
        Outdoor Japan Kodo Bee Farm

        Honey Business in Tokushima

        Honeybees at Kodo Bee Farm thrive in Tokushima's rich nature and contribute to the local ecosystem while producing delicious honey.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Outdoor Japan Organic Market Online

        Market Watch: Summer Organics Delivered

        Go online shopping for organic vegetables and support local farmers throughout Japan.
        Outdoor Japan Kodo Bee Farm

        Honey Business in Tokushima

        Honeybees at Kodo Bee Farm thrive in Tokushima's rich nature and contribute to the local ecosystem while producing delicious honey.
    • Races and Events
      • Photo by Noriteru Ino

        2021 Summer Music Festivals in Japan

        Camp and listen to great music in the outdoors at these summer music festivals across Japan.
        Summer Events Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        2021 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these fireworks festivals held throughout Japan this summer and autumn.
        Summer Festivals in Japan

        2021 Summer Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these traditional matsuri festivals throughout Japan this summer.
        summer events omm lite and bike hakuba

        2021 Summer Events and Races in Japan

        Check out upcoming events and races held throughout Japan this summer and early fall.

100 Famous Japanese Mountains: #30 Ishizuchi-san

On the ferry from Tokyo to Tokushima, a local woman told me it was a good choice to climb Ishizuchi-san, as it is the guardian angel of her hometown, Saijo in Ehime Prefecture on Shikoku Island. Ishizuchi-san, also known as “stone-hammer,” is favorably located, so typhoons can rarely strike the city–good news to me since bad weather was supposedly on its way.

I had finally arrived at the sacred mountain after two days of traveling, and one day of climbing another hyakumeizan mountain: Tsurugi-san. My new friend Tomoka, whom I met hitchhiking, was also climbing hyakumeizan in the area.

At the trailhead, the weather didn’t look promising, and other hikers descending from the trail warned we should get going before the visibility got worse. Putting on my rainwear, I was bummed to think the long expected views, as far as Kyushu, probably weren’t going to happen.

Toward the trailhead, visibility got worse and warning signs appeared about the use of the climbing chains. Tomoka faded in and out of cloud gusts, and we decided to take the detour route. The trail below was invisible, and I relied on my feet to choose the route as I ascended over smooth, medium-sized boulders.

I made a quick stop at a shrine along the way, praying for safety and better weather and, before I knew it, I had arrived at the summit. A bit disappointed with the views, I finally gave in to the chill and fog and decided a trip to the onsen and famous local udon would be the best way to end the day.

Trail Tips

Although you can take the normal path to the top, the gnarly kusari (chain rope) route is nearly vertical and challenging for even experienced climbers. The three sets of chains measure 33, 65 and 68 meters. Watch your step! You can also reach Tengudake in 15 minutes from this point.

Sometimes this area is off-limits due to landslides, so talk to locals and read the signs posted in the area. Also for those short on time, you can take the ropeway halfway up the mountain, which will save you 450 meters of altitude but costs about ¥1,000 each way.

Mountain Stats

  • Mountain: Ishizuchi-san
  • Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5
  • Location: Ehime Prefecture (Shikoku)
  • Peak: 1,982 meters
  • Duration: Day hike
  • When to go: June – November
  • Things to bring: Daypack, raingear, flashlight, map, camera, sunscreen, water, camera, gloves, sunglasses, warm hat, food supplies, sleeping bag.

How to get there: Fly to Matsuyama Airport from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. From the airport, a short bus ride will take you to Matsuyama JR train station. From there take the JR Express to Iyosai-jyo Station where you can take a bus to Ishizuchi-san train head.

Getting There

Haneda Airport Tokyo » Matsuyama Airport » JR Matsuyama Station » Iyosai-jyo » Ishizuchi-san trailhead

(1 hr. 30 mins. ¥11,000) » (15 mins. ¥300) » (58 mins. ¥1,580) » (54 mins. ¥970)

Contact Information

Iyosaijyo Town Hall: (0897) 56-5151
Kintetsu Taxi: (0897) 56-6161

Things Not to Miss

After the hike, stop by the Joju complex, located on the main shrine grounds. It is most notable for the variety of stone hammers they have on display. Gokurakuji Temple is the Mecca of mountain spirituality and a good place to stop before your hike.

And don’t miss the Asahi Beer Community Hall to celebrate with some Genghis Khan buffet and local fare. If you visit the Ishizuchi Tirol Forest, located on the Kamogawa River, you can enjoy beer made from riverbed water and hand-made sausages.

Recommended Hiking Schedule

6 hours

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories