Koriyama Castle located in Yoshida-cho, Aki Takata City, Hiroshima Pref. was a large-scale castle which covered the whole mountain of Koriyama. The original castle was built on a ridge in the southeastern part of the mountain in 1336 by Mori Tokichika, who was appointed as the Jito (an official to manage manors) of Yoshida manor. Since then the successive heads of the clan had resided at this castle until the time of Mori Motonari, who fortified the castle and expanded the castle area in the whole mountain. In the Battle of Yoshida Koriyama in 1541, the castle was attacked by Amako Haruhisa’s forces with 20,000 soldiers, but the Mori clan succeeded in beating them back. In 1589, the Mori clan shifted its bases to Hiroshima Castle. Koriyama Castle was dismantled in the early Edo period. Most of the castle compounds were destroyed at this time. At the present time, there are about 130 remains of kuruwa (castle compounds) spreading all over the mountain, from which we can easily imagine how large the castle was.
Sarukake Castle located in the northwester part of Yoshida Basin in Yoshida-cho, Aki Takata City, Hiroshima Pref. was a castle closely related to the Mori clan. It was built during the Meio era (1492-1501) by Mori Hiromoto, Motonari’s father. The castle is well known as the place where Mori Motonari spent his young days till he succeeded the clan. Sarukake Castle stood on the ridge of a mountain facing the Tajihi River running on the border of currently Yakake-cho in Oda-gun and Makibi-cho in Kurashiki City. It functioned as an important base to keep watch on passers coming from and going to the west. After the Battle of Sekigahara, however, the Mori clan lost three provinces including Aki and moved to present-day Hagi, Yamaguchi Pref. The castle became a Shogunal property and later dismantled. Doshoji Temple in Yakake-cho had been the family temple of the successive castellans.
Mt. Goshikidake is a volcano composing the Zao Mountain Range in the border of Yamagata Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture. It is 1,674 m above sea level. It is a post-caldera pyricrastic cone in the outer rim of the crator with a diameter of 2 km. At the center of the caldera lies a caldera lake known as Okama, one of the major attractions in Zao area.
The walking trail is set around Okama so that you can go round the lake, which changes colors from cobalt blue or emerald green to brown depending on the weather conditions.
As there is nothing to cut off the view, you can enjoy the scenery of the magnificent Zao Mountain Range covered with crimson foliage in fall. In winter, you can take a close look at snow monsters, which are trees frozen by winds and covered with snow. In any season, you will fully enjoy soaking yourself in the world filled with the wonder of nature.
Mt. Upepesanke is located at the southern end of the Taisetsu Mountains, which are made up of representative mountains in Hokkaido. Mt. Upepesanke with the altitude of 1848 m is a relatively high mountain in the Taisetsu. Contrary to the other mountains, it looks massive rather than steep. A lot of climbers come from all over the country and head for the mountain top at the high season. On the way to the summit, there are several peaks, from which you can enjoy viewing magnificent landscapes and various alpine plants. The edge line that continues to the summit is also very beautiful. It’s the greatest pleasure to walk along the way toward the summit with the grand landscape coming in sight on either side of the edge line. After coming down the mountain, having a relaxing time in Nukabira Hot Spring at the foot may be a good idea. You may find another charm when you soak in a bathtub and look up at the place where you have just left.
Mt. Rakkodake (1,471 m) is the main peak of the southern Hidaka Mountain Range. It is counted as one of 100 Fine Mountains in Hokkaido. “Rakko” means “a sea otter” in the Ainu language, but why this mountain was named so is unknown. Having a beautiful conical shape, the mountain is easily identified among other mountains in the Hidaka Mountain Range.
Climbers had to take the steep climbing trail along the Menashunbetsu River to get to the ridge until Rakko Sanso (mountain hut) was constructed at the starting point of the trail up the mountain in 1996. As the road to the mountain hut from the national road was set up, you can now get to the summit in a short time without so much difficulty, while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the mountain streams.
The summit is bold but covered with cute flowers of Miyamakinbai (Potentilla matsumurae Th. Wolf) in summer. You can command a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean can be enjoyed on a fine day.
Mt. Pisshiri is located at the southern end of the mountainous region of Teshio in the northwestern Hokkaido. The mountain is selected as one of Hokkaido’s 100 Fine Mountains. It is said that the word “Pisshiri” may have come from the name of the river, which flows out of this mountain and called by the Ainu people as “e pi shiri oma pu,” meaning “a river flows out of a stone mountain.” Mt. Pisshiri with an altitude of 1,032 m is the highest mountain in the northern part of Hokkaido. After passing the 4th station, you will tales the trail along the mountain ridge and can command a fine view of Lake Shumarinai at the foot. The mountain is known for various flowers. You may have a chance to see clusters of Japanese skunk cabbage. The view from the summit is magnificent itself. You can enjoy a 360°panoramic view including the Sea of Japan and the Taisetsu Mountains in the distance. You will revel in luxury nature has provided for you.
Mt. Santo (1,009 m) is the second highest mountain in the Teshio mountains, which stretch from north to south in the eastern part of Hokkaido. Although it is not a very high mountain, it is not easy to climb this mountain. The vertical interval of the whole trail is about 800 meters and there are a lot of ups and downs in the trail along the ridge. The name “Santo (Three Heads)” derives from the three peaks respectively named Itto (the 1st Head), Nito (the 2nd Head) and Santo (the 3rd Head). It is counted as one of 100 Fine Mountains in Hokkaido.
Mt. Santo is known for the abundant growth of alpine plants. It is said that all the flowers that bloom in Hokkaido in spring can be seen in this mountain. The plants include Ezo-engosaku (Corydalis ambigua), dogtooth violet, Hakusanchidori (Orchis aristata) and the rare species of Odorikoso (Lamium album var. barbatum) and Ezonohanashinobu (Polemonium yezoense).
The bushes of Chishimazasa (Sasa kurilensis), which cover the trail along the ridge, are sheared off neatly at the summit, where you can get a pleasant relief after conquering difficulties. You can command a panoramic view of the Sea of Japan and the Taisetsu mountains in the distance. If you lie down on the green carpet, you will see nothing but the unlimited expanse of sky.
Mt. Memuro (1,753 m) is located in the border of the towns of Memuro, Shimizu and Hidaka to the west of Obihiro City in Hokkaido. It is in the northernmost end of the Hidaka Mountain Range, which stretches over 100 km from north to south in southeastern Hokkaido. Among the precipitous mountains in Hidaka Mountains, it has a relatively gentle appearance. With the trail along the northeastern ridge maintained in a good condition, it is known as an accessible mountain for its high altitude.
Mt. Memuro is also famous for abundant alpine flowers. Climbers can enjoy viewing various alpine plants walking along the 4-hour climbing route to the summit.
Right to the west of the summit is the western peak of this mountain, which is popularly called Mt. Pankenushi. The name “Mt. Memuro” sometimes includes both two peaks. It may be a good idea to walk along the ridge to the west peak, where you can command a magnificent view of the Hidaka Mountain Range far below in the south.