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The Scenic Splendor Series – Mountains


Kihoku Town

Owase City

Kumano City

Kiho Town

Higashikishu is a region where the mountains and the sea converge, offering a plethora of breathtaking natural wonders to explore—Mt. Tengurasan, which offers a panoramic view of the town, mountains, and sea from its summit rock; Ochobo-iwa Rock which showcases a stunning contrast between the emerald-blue sea and vibrant green island; Mt. Binshiyama, that boasts a spectacular 270-degree vista; Onigura, a gigantic cliff that was the sacred place for practising Shugendo (the “path of training and testing”); Mt. Oeboshiyama, that provides an awe-inspiring scenic view despite being a relatively low mountain; Tsueno Peak’s unkai (sea of clouds), which is a mystical sight to behold, and so on.
Each of these relaxing scenic spots offers a sense of exhilaration upon reaching the summit, accompanied by breathtaking views.
Let’s introduce you to these scenic spots.


1 Mt. Tengurasan 522m [Owase City] The 10 mountains of Higashi-Kishu/The 100 mountains of Tokai
2 Ochobo-iwa Rock (Mount Kankake 494m) [Owase City/Kihoku-cho]
3 Mt. Binshiyama (Zo-no-Se) 599m [Kihokucho] The 10 mountains of Higashi-Kishu
4 Onigura 488m [Kumano City] The 10 mountains of Higashi Kishu
5 Mt. Oeboshiyama 362m [Kiho-cho] The 10 mountains of Higashikishu
6 Tsueno Peak 645m [Kumano City]


1 Mt. Tengurasan 522m [Owase City] The 10 mountains of Higashi-Kishu/The 100 mountains of Tokai

To the north of Owase city lies the massive Mt. Tengurasan, a popular destination for field trips among elementary school students in Owase and for first sunrise hikes.
It is among the most well-known mountains in the region, and many active locals climb it daily.
The most favored path is via the World Heritage Kumano Kodo Magose-toge Pass, which has two trailheads: one in Washishita in Kihoku-cho and the other in Magose Park on the Owase City side.
For a truly immersive experience of the Kumano Kodo ambiance, we recommend taking the Washishita route, which features thick cobbled paths.
So, with anticipation in our hearts, let us begin!

Embark on a scenic stroll through a splendid Japanese cypress forest along a well-maintained stone pavement that dates back to the Edo period.
As you reach Magose-toge Pass, you can begin your ascent to the summit route.
Though the distance is short, the steep climb will be quite challenging.
Climb up the steps and behold a towering rock that was once frequented by hermits who practiced Shugendo (the “path of training and testing”).

At the top lies a shrine devoted to En no Gyoja, the founder of Shugendo.
The towering large rock earlier is the summit.

The stunning views of the town of Owase and the deep blue Owase Bay, as well as the Owase Trail mountain range, are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Climb the ladder that hangs on the large rock, and you can catch a glimpse of the distant Odaigahara mountains and the crystal-clear Choshi-gawa River below.


Moving on, to the east of Mt. Tengukura lies the second spot, Ochobo-iwa Rock. If you head west from Magose-toge Pass, you will reach the third spot, Binishiyama.
Both locations are a fair distance away, so it’s essential to plan ahead and ensure you’re physically prepared for the journey.


2  Ochobo-iwa Rock (Mount Kankake 494m) [Owase City/Kihoku-cho]


Journeying eastward along the ridgeline from the peak of Mt. Tengukura will lead you to Ochobo-iwa Rock.
This picturesque location on the Owase Trail offers a 360-degree view of the city’s surrounding area.
It is only recommended for experienced hikers, but the breathtaking scenery makes it well worth the effort.
Prepare to be awed by the magnificent panoramic vista that awaits you.
Located approximately 1.5 km away from Mt. Tengukura, Ochobo-iwa Rock can be easily found by following the signboard for Mt. Kankake.

As you venture out onto the open rock, you will be entranced by the stunning ocean view.
In the distance, you can gaze upon a diorama-like landscape framed by the Shima Peninsula and the lush green mountainous terrains on the Kihoku-cho side. From this vantage point, you can even catch a glimpse of Lake Shiraishi, which is well-known for its Watari Kaki (Oyster).
Take in the islands that appear to float upon Owase Bay, and let the overwhelming presence of the sea fill you with awe.


3 Mt. Binshiyama (Zo-no-Se) 599m [Kihokucho] The 10 mountains of Higashikishu

便石山 象の背

The impressive elephant-shaped ridge of Mt. Binshiyama is truly awe-inspiring.
This scenic location has been included in Montbell’s SEA TO SUMMIT route.

To reach Mt. Binshiyama, there are various paths available, including one from Camp Inn Miyami and a forest trail.
However, the recommended route is through the Kumano Kodo Magose-toge Pass.

After descending from the pass junction, when you reach the saddle, you will encounter a steep climb with large steps.
Along the way, there are benches to rest on, offering an unobstructed view of the Owase townscape.
Exiting the stairs onto a rocky path, you will see a reflector sign for Chubu Electric Power on your right, and the top is just ahead. Once you reach the flat cedar forest, you will see the triangulation station of Mt. Binshiyama.
Follow the signboard to a huge stone, and beyond it, you will find a large rock resembling an elephant’s back.

From there, enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of greenery, the Choshi-gawa River, Mt. Tengukura, and Kumano-nada.
This is a precious natural treasure that combines the beauty of the sky, sea, city, and mountains, making it easy to forget the fatigue of climbing the steps.


4 Onigura 488m [Kumano City] The 10 mountains of Higashikishu

Onigura, a massive rocky mountain believed to have been home to Tengu (a legendary creature in Japanese folklore), can be viewed from an observation platform on the Mihama Kitayama Line, a prefectural road leading to the trailhead.
It’s worth taking a moment to admire the view before beginning the trek.

After parking your car at the edge of the forest, take the level path that leads to your destination, a mere five-minute walk away. The view of the mountain range from there is truly breathtaking, leaving you feeling invigorated and empowered.


At the summit of the mountain, you can find the shrine of Takakuratsurugi Daimyojin, and nearby are the ruins of the samurai residence (Tengu Blacksmith Ruins) , which was once the home of Kondo Hyoe, a samurai who was also a skilled blacksmith and an ascetic known as Tengu-sama.

Upon returning to the forest road, why not take on the challenge of climbing Omotenigura?
Start at Tengu Sanso and make your way up the steep cedar forest, then follow the ridge until you catch sight of the rocky peak you’re aiming for.
As you descend, you’ll be enveloped by the lush greenery, with the picturesque rural scenery of Ikuseicho Town stretching out before you.


5 Mt. Oeboshiyama 362m [Kiho-cho] The 10 mountains of Higashi-Kishu


At the summit of Omotenigura, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Shichirimihama coastline and the Kumano and Kishu mountains.
Despite its relatively low altitude, the mountain has gained popularity for its expansive vistas.
To reach the mountain, start at Michi-no-Eki Kihocho Umigame Park and head towards the village of Ida Kannon.
As you pass through the mandarin orange fields, keep an eye out for a signboard with climbing instructions.

To access the mountain, begin your trek at the Hirami trailhead and weave your way through the Japanese Chinquapin and oak trees.


As you continue on, you’ll eventually reach an area of cypress forest, so be mindful of any fallen trees along the way.
As you proceed, keep an eye out for remnants of stone walls from terraced rice fields and moss-covered stone steps, a testament to the trail’s past as a community road.
At the top of a steep slope, you’ll find four ninaiishi (bearing stones), where porters carrying heavy loads would stop and rest.
Continuing on, you’ll eventually reach a three-way junction, from which you can follow the ridge to the summit.

Although not particularly high in elevation, the mountain offers a tranquil retreat where you can enjoy the serene atmosphere overlooking the picturesque Shichirimihama Beach.



6 Tsueno Peak 645m [Kumano City]


Located north of Itaya in Kiwa-cho, Kumano City, Tsueno Peak boasts an altitude of 645 meters.
Once a prosperous mining town, the mountain has gained popularity in recent years as a prime spot for admiring the breathtaking unkai (sea of clouds).

Starting at Tabirako-toge near the Akagi Castle remains, follow the forest path to reach a paragliding field located at an altitude of 495 meters. From this vantage point, you can witness the rare and awe-inspiring sea of clouds gently rolling over Kiwa-cho below. This phenomenon only occurs under specific weather conditions, making it all the more special to see.

Gazing out at the fluffy clouds enveloping Kiwa-cho and the enchanting, mysterious Kumano-nada stretching out into the distance is truly a sight to behold.

Typically, the sea of clouds is most likely to occur in the autumn and winter months, especially in the early morning with clear skies and a significant temperature difference between morning and the night before.
Be sure to check the weather forecast before you make the trip to Mt. Tsueno to witness this remarkable sight.

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