If you want to enjoy an amazing hike with an even more spectacular view, you should visit Mt. Tsurugi in Tokushima Prefecture. Mt. Tsurugi is one of Japan’s hidden gems. Not many have heard of it because it is in the middle of nowhere and not the most accessible option, but it is worth the effort to visit this gem. Mt. Tsurugi, which translates to sword mountain, is about 1,955 meters high (6,414 feet). It is the second highest mountain in western Japan.
The trail is open year-round and there is no admission fee. When you reach the trailhead of Minokoshi, you will find several souvenir shops and some places to eat. They also offer a chairlift service to take you up the mountain. The chairlift doesn’t take you all the way to the top, but it certainly will save you time. If you decide to hike the entire trail, it will take you about 2 hours to reach the peak. If you use the chairlift it will take you about 30 minutes to reach the peak. The chairlift ride is relaxing and fun, where you get to see very cool sceneries and enjoy the nice mountain breeze. Only one person can ride on the chairlift at a time, so be mindful if you are traveling with children. They also offer a chairlift to go down the mountain.
The hike itself is not bad at all. They conveniently put many stairs throughout the trail to make it easier to hike up the mountain. There is a store at the top of the mountain, but the prices are rather high. You should take some food and water for the hike, so I highly recommend you to buy snacks and water before you start climbing.
I highly advise that you check the weather before visiting Mt. Tsurugi because on a cloudy day you will not get the majestic view due to the clouds. When we went, we lucked out. It was a bit cloudy, but we saw fantastic views.
Hike at your own risk. If you take children on the hike, make sure to keep an eye out for them because anyone can easily fall.
When you reach the top, there are no barriers to prevent you from wandering around the mountain. You can easily walk across to different mountains in the area if you want to. No one will stop you from exploring the area.
- There are public buses from three JR train stations but they operate only on specific dates. Check for their schedule (Japanese).
- It is much easier to go by car. Drive very carefully, as it is a bit dangerous due to the winding and curving small roads as you go towards the mountain.
- Website: http://www.miyoshinavi.jp/english/02miru/detail.php?genr=101&uid=ss000068
- The chairlift operates from end of April to end of November.
- Adult: 1,860 yen (round trip), 1,030 yen (one way)
- Child: 870 yen (round trip), 510 yen (one way)
- Website: http://www.turugirift.com/about/index.html (Japanese)
If you enjoy hiking, beautiful sceneries and a nice little adventure, Mt. Tsurugi is a perfect option. It is a great way to spend a day and at the end of the hike you will get a breathtaking view.