Mount Daisen

Mount Daisen (大山) is a volcanic mountain in the Chugoku region with amazing views over the northern mountains from 1,729 metres above sea level. This makes it the highest in the region, so it has a lot of significance to Japanese people. The mountain is therefore dotted with stunning shrines and temples, and has become a very popular day trip for Japanese hikers.


Time required: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: Medium

There is one main route up (blue route on signs on route), plus the Gyojadani route (red) that meets up with the main route at it’s halfway point. Both can be rather steep, but there are many areas along the route to have a drink and recharge your batteries.

Budget travel tips

  • Choices are limited for budget food, so bring a bento or convenience store food with you. Bring a large bottle of water as well, as the summit can get rather hot and the store up there is very expensive!
  • We went on a national holiday, and where shocked at how busy to route was. Daisen is a very popular hike for Japanese, so try as much as possible to go on a weekday. You will save time waiting for people to pass on the narrow sections and won’t need to spend as much money on drinks.
  • Pick up free maps from the Tourist Information Center, on the second floor of the building where buses will drop you off in town.
It’s worth including the Gyojadani route to see some rather special temples and shrines going up long stone stairs.

How to get there

From Yonago, take the bus to Daisenji Temple near Daisen (1 hour, 720 yen). It is also possible to get a bus from Daisen-guchi Station (30 minutes, 480 yen), which is closer to Tottori. Check at your hotel/hostel the night before for up to date bus times, as they change frequently.

With a JR Rail Pass or Chugoku Rail Pass

Take a Limited Express (Matsukaze) train from via Tottori (1 hour) or Matsue (20 mins).

Without a rail pass

Yonago is on the JR Sanin Line between Tottori (2 hours, 1660 yen) and Matsue (50 mins, 500 yen). Highway buses go to these cities, and occasionally to Yonago.

Recommended hostels and cheap hotels

You may want to get up early for the hike, so stay in Yonago the night before. Another option is to stay in Tottori or Matsue.

Kaiho Guest House Katsuzo

The cheapest downtown option for budget travellers. Japanese and western style dorms available. Check prices on

Yonago New Urban Hotel

Usually has the best prices for a hotel in the city, this hotel has all the modern conveniences you need. Not the Hilton, but a great option for budget travellers, especially families. Check prices at

Check more at


Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict