With Yahiko Shrine at its foothill, Mt Yahiko evokes a spiritual atmosphere. Cedar-lined hiking trails only add to the ambiance. But it's the spectacular views that the mountain is most famous for, whether it's looking back out over Niigata or toward Sado Island and the Sea of Japan.
Reach Mt Yahiko by train or car.
By train, catch the Joetsu Shinkansen to Tsubame-Sanjo Station. Transfer to the Yahiko Line and disembark at Yahiko Station. The mountain is about a 15-minute walk away.
By car you can take the Hokuriku Expressway and exit at Tsubame-Sanjo Interchange. The mountain is a 25-minute drive away.
For those wanting to hike up the mountain, consider the hiking trail, divided into ten sections within a dense forest. It is not a challenging climb, and visitors can typically reach the top within a couple of hours. Visit the small store at the beginning of the trail for snacks and other sustenance.
To really take in your surroundings, consider a ride on the ropeway up Mt Yahiko. Beautiful throughout all the seasons, the ropeway ride is especially popular when the cherry trees bloom. Have your own car? Make your way up the Mt Yahiko Skyline.
At the peak of the mountain, you will find another small shrine. Take a moment there to soak in the panoramic views of the Niigata Plain and Sado Island. Wander across the plain, or rest at the observation deck and head to the cafe for some Japanese curry and other fare.