Mt. Yahiko is a mighty volcano near the shore of the Sea of Japan. With Yahiko Shrine, the most famous shrine in Niigata Prefecture, as the entrance to the hike, it’s undeniably scenic.
Hiking Mt Yahiko
The hike is divided into 10 sections within a dense forest. It is not a difficult climb, and hikers typically can reach the top in about 1-and-a-half to two hours. In the beginning of the hike, there is a small snack shop in a hut. You will see people chit-chatting on rocky seats as they enjoy the oden soup and free coffee.
At the peak of the mountain, there is another small shrine. Take a moment to soak in the panoramic views of the Echigo Plains and Sado Island, too. Hiking is not the only way to enjoy the views of the Niigata Plain and the Sea of Japan. Visitors can also take the ropeway to the top of Mt Yahiko or drive up it on the Mt Yahiko Skyline.
Yahiko Shrine and festivals
The spirituality of this shrine traces back to the 8th Century, when Ameno-Kagoyama-no-Mikoto, a great-grandson of a Shinto deity, is believed to have landed on Mt Yahiko and taught local people the skills required for salt production, fishing, rice cultivation and other agricultural activities.
The Yahiko Lantern Festival is coming up July 24 to July 26. The fireworks are on the 25th at 8 p.m. in Yahiko Park.
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