Mt. Bandai

Mt. Bandai

Originally known as Iwahashi-yama, literally a rock ladder to the sky, the renamed Mt. Bandai is no less impressive. Often referred to as 'Aizu's Mt. Fuji', Mt. Bandai is one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan, and has even been selected as one of the top 100 geographic landmarks in Japan. In 2011, the mountain was certified as a geopark, which is a unified area with geological heritage and international significance, as defined by UNESCO. There are seven climbing routes for Mt. Bandai, with the trail starting at the Happodai trailhead being the most popular, and easiest route. From the Happodai trailhead, the 3.5 km route takes around 2 hours to reach the summit.

The various routes range from 2 to 4 hours and from 3 to 7 km. At Koubou Shimizu, one of the mountain stops, there are two shops where trekkers can buy drinks, snacks, and souvenirs, but please note that there is no accommodation available. For many Buddhist mountain fanatics, Mt. Bandai holds a place of great significance. Enichi-ji Temple, located on the southwestern foot of Mt. Bandai, is a popular temple to visit nearby. The mountains situated around the temple make for a serene vista where one can feel the power of nature. Enichi-ji Temple was founded one year after Mt. Bandai erupted, in 807 C.E.; in the past, some superstitious people believed there was a connection between the eruption and the temple’s founding... Interestingly, Mt. Bandai used to be shaped more like the famous Mt. Fuji, but after a volcanic eruption in 1888, the shape changed to what we see today. It is thanks to that eruption that the mountain gained its rugged, sharp look and the Urabandai area behind Mt. Bandai was created. For non-hikers, the Bandaisan Gold Line is a popular sightseeing road that leads up the southwestern side and offers brilliant vistas of the foliage, especially in autumn when the colors change.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://bandaisan.or.jp/ib/en/
Contact

Inawashiro Tourism Association

(+81) 242-62-2048

Best Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
ParkingAvailable (Please use the Happodai Trailhead Parking Lot [八方台登山口駐車場])
Access Details
AccessHappodai Trailhead, Bandaisan Gold Line, Bandai Town, Yama District, Fukushima Pref. 969-3301
View directions
Getting there

By Car: Take the Bandai-Kawahigashi I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway. Then take Route 64 and head towards Lake Hibara on the Bandaisan Gold Line (20 min).

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Located less than 4km from Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Mt. Iimoriyama has had a difficult and somewhat dark past. But despite it’s history, the natural beauty of the place remains untarnished. There are many local food stalls set up near the base of the hill, so it’s a good idea to have a snack before you begin the ascent up the stone steps. Also at the bottom is the Byakkotai Memorial Hall; it’s located next to the path up the mountain so it’s easy to find. Inside, guests can observe various artifacts of war and learn about some of Aizu's history.Visitors have two choices to get to the top of the hill: hike up the 183 steps to the summit for free; or pay 250 yen to ride the escalator up (150 yen for children). At the summit stand the nineteen graves of the Byakkotai, White Tiger Corps. The story of these young teenage samurai-in-the-making is legendary in Aizu-Wakamatsu City, and all around this prefecture. The Byakkotai boys were part of the defence against the military forces sweeping through the country during the 1868 civil war. They remained loyal to the leader of their domain and Shogun.On an autumn day during the one-month-long siege on their city, the boys had retreated to Mt. Iimoriyama. From the top of this hill, they caught sight of what they assumed to be Tsurugajo Castle set on fire - a sure sign that the war was lost. In response, they did what they had been taught was the honourable course of action, and took their own lives. In fact, the castle had not been set on fire, and the war was not yet lost. One boy was unsuccessful in his attempt, and was saved by a local woman traversing the hills. His life was saved and his story has become the history we know today. Visitors to Mt. Iimoriyama can stand in the same spot as the boys looking out over the city, or pay respects at the various memorials.The gravesite at the top of Mt. Iimoriyama was built in remembrance of those nineteen boys. Their story resonated with the leaders of the Axis Powers of World War II; near the gravesite are two historic landmarks donated by Nazi Germany and Italy. Down the northern side of the mountain are Uga-shindo, a shrine built in the late seventeenth century which deified a white snake as a god of abundance and fertility. There is also a lovely temple shaped like a turban shell, Sazaedo Temple, that visitors can actually go inside.

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Suehiro Sake Brewery Kaeigura

Suehiro Sake Brewery was founded at the end of the Edo Period, in the mid 19th century. The Kaeigura (the building where the sake is brewed) has been designated as an important historical building by Aizu-Wakamatsu City. Here, visitors can take a guided tour of the sake-brewing process, as well as of old Japanese-style rooms which were built during the Meiji Period. The brewing process takes place from October to March every year. During this time, visitors can see the process and conditions inside the fermentation tanks. Visitors may try between six and ten different kinds of sake for free year-round. Suehiro sake and other Aizu products are available for sale on-site. On the left side after entering the gate stands a café called Kissa Ann. The architecture of Kissa Ann was remodelled from the Kaeigura's oldest storehouse. Here, you can enjoy coffee made with water prepared especially for making sake, and cake made using high-quality sake.

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Goshiki-numa Ponds

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