Although Mocchomu Dake is the lowest mountain on the YES guided hike menu, it is probably the most strenuous. There is little respite from start to finish and during the last 30 minutes there are a number of ropes to climb, including the final rope-climb where nerve as well as upper-body strength are necessary. The good news is that the ascent can be achieved within only a few hours and the descent is quite quick (but be prepared for jelly-knees!).
The hike begins near the Senpiro Waterfall and before entering the trail there is a small shrine that is used when the villagers from Onoaida make the pilgrimage (takemairi) up to Mocchomu. On the summit you can see a few small shrines tucked under the front of the rock facing the Onoaida village. Feel free to give a small donation to the gods at the top.
The hike begins as it means to go on – UP! However, you do pass some wonderful scenery along the way including a few streams (where the water is good) and around halfway up you come across Bandai sugi – a 3,000 year old sugi. This is a very picturesque tree as its base is almost entirely hollow and you can see right through it. It sits upon a ridge that seems to have room only for the tree. Another interesting tree further along is Mocchomu Taro.
After about 3 hours, the climb shows its real rewards as a brief clearing from Kamiyama Tenbodai gives a glimpse of the peak of Mocchomu and the village of Haro down below. The final stage of this ascent is along a narrow ridge that leads to the summit of Mocchomu.
From the top of the mountain the view is thrilling. Directly 900 metres below is Onoaida. You can see right along the coastline and far out to sea. The views are so good that you have to tear yourself off the top to make the journey back down.
There are a few water points along this route so filling up is possible. The top of Mocchomu is exposed to the sun and a hat is essential. It can also be windy on the ridge and summit, so bring something warm to wear as lunch at the top is recommended – weather permitting. There is not that much space on the top and on a windy day this could be a dangerous hike.
Level 4/5 | Distance: 8km | Time 7 hours | Altitude 270m ～994m
Guide Rate (per person)
1 person: 36,500円 | 2 people: 19,000円 | 3 people: 16,500円 | 4 or more: 14,000円
Included in the guide rate： lunch bento | insurance | transportation