Mt. Minobu (身延山)
A 1,153 meter tall mountain located in Minobu-cho, Minamikoma County, Yamanashi Prefecture. There is a ropeway which can take you to the top of the mountain in about seven minutes, and during your ride in the sky you can enjoy fantastic scenery. There are also two trails which visitors can use to hike to the top as well. The mountain is a habit for Japanese macaques, wild boar, Japanese deer, and a variety of other animals, as well as Japanese serow and Japanese dormice, rare species designated as Natural Monuments which you just might catch a glimpse of if you're lucky. Twice a year, visitors can enjoy the sight of the sun perfectly capping the top of the mountain in a phenomenon popularly known as the “Diamond Fuji,” and the mountain is also a popular spiritual destination.
- East Course: This route heads toward the summit from behind Kuon-ji temple's main hall, passing through Kishibojin-do (Junyobo) hall, Jorokudo hall, and Taikobo (Sankodo) hall. The trail climbs 720 meters and is about five kilometer one-way. Since this route uses for entrance, it's well maintained, and you can take the ropeway on the way back if you wish. The branches are well marked and the distance is short, but there are many steep uphill climbs. The trail from Taikobo is unpaved, but it's a wide-open forest path. When the path follows the ridge it's fairly gentle for a time, but it changes to a fairly steep, meandering path along the way. The observation desk at the peak offers a view of Mt. Fuji and other surrounding mountains, and below you can see the town of Minobu spreading out along the Fujigawa River.
- West Course: This trail, climbing about 800 meters and five kilometer one-way, starts at the mausoleum (containing the remains of Nichiren Shonin), then heads toward the summit via Myosekibo (Kozaseki), Shojuan, the Thousand Cedars, and Oiwake Kanibo. There are many branches and waster roads or dead ends, so please make sure to check the signs carefully. This path is longer than the eastern one, but easier. This course offers a number of sights, such as views of the endangered species Oriental Dollarbird's breeding grounds, the Thousand Cedars containing trees over 260 years old, and the origins of Kuon-ji Temple, the home of Nichiren Shonin.
Information Sources: NAVITIME JAPAN