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Mt. Chokai

 

Mt. Chokai is a large scale stratovolcano standing 2,236 meters high along the border of Akita and Yamagata prefectures. It is the highest individual peak in the Tohoku District of Japan. Its majestic figure and repeated volcanic activities coupled with unstable situations occurring in the area from time to time, made it a subject of worship as “Ohmonoimi-no-Kami” (the Shinto god residing in Mt. Chokai) after the god’s religious position was raised a number of times.
Drastic weather changes result in impressive four seasons with distinct colors. Accumulated snow would become an abundance of swamp water. It spreads over the expansive foot of the mountain making valleys and it waters field paddies for growth of rice.
Mt. Chokai is a treasure house of valuable alpine plants grown in the bitter environment with changing weather conditions. If you count them, reportedly you will find 200 kinds, such as  “Chokai-fusuma” (Caryophyllaceae) and “Chokai-azami” (thistle), unique to Mt. Chokai.  In Yurihonjo City, there are three starting points to climb Mt. Chokai, namely, Yashima, Sarukura and Momoyake, and each one has its own characteristics.
Mt. Chokai, with its graceful figure, has been always closely connected with everyday life of the local people. It is a symbol and gives them emotional support. It’s been called “Dewa Fuji” or Mt. Fuji of Dewa and the surrounding area has been designated as a National Park.
 

 

※Yashima Starting Point (Haraigawa)
Transportation: 45 minutes by car from Yashima Station, Yurikogen Railway
Approx. 3 hours and 50 minutes to the peak

※Sarukura Starting Point
Transportation: One hour by car from Yashima Station, Yurikogen Railway
Approx. 4 hours and 15 minutes to the peak

※Momoyake Starting Point
Transportation: One hour and 15 minutes by car from Yashima Station, Yurikogen Railway
Approx. 3 hours and 50 minutes to the peak

※Notes for Climbers
May: Need winter gears. Beginners, with caution.
June:  Need ice axes and crampons. Beginners, with caution.
Late July – Late August:   Best for summer climbing.

※Skiing in Mt. Chokai in the spring and summer
At the Yashima starting point, a lot of lingering snow still remains until July.  You can enjoy skiing a vertical drop of 1,000 meters from a point near the peak, non-stop. It’s really a slope made by the nature. Around the time of the “golden week” (early May), the road will open to Haraigawa parking lot at the 5th stage from the Yashima starting point .


Inquiries(Japanese Only)

Yashima Branch Office, Yurihonjo City Tourist Association(c/o Industry Department, Yashima Branch Office of Yurihonjo City)
 PHONE 0184-55-4953
 FAX 0184-55-2157

Chokai Branch Office, Yurihonjo City Tourist Association (c/o Industry Department, Chokai Branch Office of Yurihonjo City)
 PHONE 0184-57-2205
 FAX 0184-57-2076
 

 


 

Hottai–no-taki Waterfalls & Tamada Valley

 

Yojiro Takita, who directed “Departures”, a winner of the Foreign Language Film Academy Award, also directed “Fishing Maniac, Sanpei” released on the 20th of March, 2009.  This movie’s climax scenes were filmed around the waterfalls of Hottai-no-taki.
The falls are located at the headwaters of Koyoshigawa River in the eastern foot of Mt. Chokai, one of the most famous 100 mountains of Japan. Koyoshigawa is the mother river flowing in the Yuri area of Akita Prefecture. Hottai-no-taki spreads horizontally at the bottom with the three cascades, “ichi-no-taki”, “ni-no-taki” and “san-no-taki” or the first, second and third falls. Its total length of fall is 100 meters, with a difference of 57.4 meters in elevation. With the headwaters coming from Mt. Chokai, a divine peak, the water falls with a look onto its peak.
You can see many big and small pothole groups in the basin of approx. 30 ares (about 0.74 acres), in the upper part of the first fall and at the bottom of the second fall. They were developed in the mudstone with SiO2(silica)of Onnagawa Formation and are considered scientifically so valuable that the site was designated as the first one of Places of Scenic Beauty and Protected Species of Akita Prefecture.
Tamada Valley residing at the top part of the waterfalls has a walking path constructed in the beautiful beech forest which used to be just a track to carry timbers in the old days. You can enjoy a great trekking tour with the varied beauty created by the valley, from potholes, backwaters and rocks in strange shapes.
Around the basin of the waterfalls, a big lawn of 17,000 square meters has been made. In addition to a parking lot, a rest house and shops, camping facilities including a cookhouse are in place. It is a base of tourism throughout the year in the area of Chokai, with many tourists visiting in the spring for fresh green, in the summer to get relief from the heat and in the autumn to view beautiful colored leaves.
Transportation:40 minutes by car from Yashima Station, Yurikogen Railway

Inquiries(Japanese Only)

Chokai Branch Office, Yurihonjo City Tourist Association (c/o Industry Department, Chokai Branch Office of Yurihonjo City)

 PHONE 0184-57-2205
 FAX 0184-57-2076

 

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b. Swimming Beaches: Michikawa, Honjo Marina and Nishime

 
     

Yurihonjo City Tourist Association 17 Ozaki, Yurihonjo City, Akita Prefecture TEL 0184-24-6376 FAX 0184-24-3044

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