Distance : 13.7 miles (22 km) approx.
Avg.Time : 8-10 hours
Start / Finish :
- Iyashi-no-onsen-kyo / Mi-no-koshi
- Regular buses run along the Iya Valley. Before setting out, be sure to check the latest schedule as services are limited.
- The tourist office in Oboke is a good source of up-to-date information on the area. Very friendly staff.
- April to November.
Maps / Info :
- Lonely Planet’s Hiking in Japan (2009) contains a description of the route and a basic map.
- For something more detailed, try the Yama-to-kogen 1:50,000 Ishizuchi & Shikoku Tsurugi-San # 54. The entire series of Yama-Kogen Topographic maps are widely available in bookstores throughout Japan.
- The tourist office in Oboke has basic hiking maps of the Iya Valley.
Route / Conditions :
- Ask the helpful staff at the Iyashi-no-onsen to show you where the trail begins. Basically it is on the far side of their carpark.
- You will pass under a raised rail track after 40 minutes or so. It should take between 2.5 and 3.5 hrs to reach Miune from the Onsen. There is one water source half way up the climb.
- Once you have reached Miune hut, the trail is well signed and easy to follow all the way to Tsurugi-san.
- In regards to water, fill up at Miune as there did not appear to be any other reliable sources from there until just before Tsurugi.
- There are three huts and loads of places to camp with fantastic views. Just remember to pack enough water for cooking.
- If you love onsen (Japanese for ‘hot springs’), I would definitely recommend you start or finish this hike at Iyashi-no-onsen-kyo. Camping is permited at the back of the lodge, and you can use the facilities for 1000 yen (November, 2009).