The picturesque Mt. Iwate is the highest peak in Iwate Prefecture’s Hachimantai area. With its changing expression depending on where you view it from, this unique mountain features beautiful foothills to the east and steep ridges to the west. Locally, the mountain is known as Nambu-fuji. The mountain features seven different paths to enjoy, including separate paths for going up or down the mountain.
The most popular course is the Yanagisawa course, which starts from Umagaeshi in Takizawa City. This route is most notable for its impressive views of Morioka City and the Kitakami Mountains off in the distance. Another course—which begins with a trek over a cooled lava flow—offers exciting views of a primitive landscape accented by clumps of komakusa flowers (best seen in late June). The course that begins at Amiharionsen Ski Resort gives trekkers a helping hand up to 1,320 meters aboard a ski lift. At the nearby Amihari Visitor Center, you will find staff that are happy to give advice on the trails, as well as a nature-experience program for those interested.
Atop the mountain, visitors will be treated to expansive views to the north and northeast as well as countless stone Buddha statues and a first-hand look at the traditions and faith associated with the mountain at Iwatesan-jinja’s inner shrine area. The many hot springs dotting the mountainside are perfect for easing any aches from the rigors of the climb.