Dairabou is a mountain peak located close to the border between Shizuoka and Fujieda(Okabe area), 561 meters above sea level. Althouth there are hiking courses both from Shizuoka and Okabe most of the visitors either come to the mountaintop by car or by bicycle because there is a neatly paved road reaching to the top. The mountain is also popular among paraglider fans (just google "Dairabou", and you will find a lot of Youtube clips paragliding from the mountaintop). The peak area has great views of the mountains in Shizuoka and even Mount Fuji and Minami(Southern) Alps peaks. Dairabou has the legend of Daidarabocchi Japanese mythological giant who is attributed to numerous landforms in Japan. Near the highest peak of the mountain there is a minor depression about thirty meters wide and one hundred meters long. According to the legend the depression is the footmark of the legendary giant.
How to get there: By using public transportation you need to climb either from Fukouri area from Shizuoka or Tamatori area of Okabe(Fujieda). By using train the bus from Yaizu station is often used. From Yaizu station take a bus leading to Fujieda-shi Okabe Shishomae. From there you need to take another bus bound for Tamatori. From Tamatori you need to climb through the paved road. At the Fukouri Pass there is another paved road leading to the mountaintop. You can either go along the road or walk along the mountain trail running parallel to the road. Next time I go there I will pick the route from Yaizu station.
The trail starts from Miwa Shrine and ends at Sho'ouin Temple in Okabe-Shuku area featuring beautifully built two-storied pagoda.@
Length: 5.7 kilometers
Duration: About three hour walk not including rest and visiting time.
Level: D: Good for beginners but with some hard climbs. Even good for family hikes as there are some places to play along the trail.
Features: Miwa Shrine Torii, Great views, Temple of Soldiers, Tangerine and tea plantation, rustic rural landscape, Two-storied pagoda of Sho'ouin.
Ideal Hiking Season: From October through May particularly tangerine picking season around November through December.
Season to Avoid: From June through September because the weather is erratic with frequent thundershower and a bit too hot when the sun shines.
Quoted from Yamanobe trail Info Board on photo#1
"Yamanbe Trail links three districts in the Okabe area, Miwa, Hongou and Santou. The trail is lush with natural beauty and it features numerous sites of historical interest. Beds of cultivated flowers, and neatly trimmed hedges, also stud the Trail. The warms of village life permieates the air, as nature and local cultural assets are clearly lovingly tended. This care can be seen, for example, in the little hand-sewn hoods that protect and keep warm the head of the "Ojizosan" (sacred stone statues) that appear along the trail; and in the traditional night-lamps that are so carefully maintained".
Joshoin temple often nicknamed as Heitaidera(the temple of soldirs) is one of the highlighted attractions of Yamanobe Trail starting from Miwa Shrine to Old Tokaido Okabe-juku area. The temple houses 223 wooden statues of soldiers who were deceased during Russo-Japanese war in 1904-5. When I went to the temple in January 2011 the temple has few visitors and was really quiet. To get inside the main hall where these statues are housed, take your shoes off at the hallway extending from the building. And don't forget to say hello before entering the building.
Other than Mount Fuji(photo #1) you can also see the peaks of Minami Alps peaks such as Mount Kamikochi and Mount Hijiri(Photo #2 left snow-capped peaks) and Mount Akaishi(Photo #2 right snow-capped peak) from Dairabou, one of the most popular lookouts in Shizuoka City. Mount Hijiri is barely visible behind Mount Kamikochi. And the right corner ridge with less snow may be somewhere around Mount Zarugatake. When I went to the peak on December 26, I could also see Izu Peninsula(Photo #3)beyond mountain area including Mount Mankanho and Mariko-Fuji. Photo #4 is Mariko-fuji, 450m, in elevation and Photo #5 is Mount Tenguiwa, 1366m located between Shizuoka and Kawane-honcho.
From the summit of Dairabou you can see almost any mountains of Shizuoka city except many of Minami(Southern) Alps peaks. Photo #1 is Mount Kuroboshi, 2067m, which has unmistakable cone-shaped mountaintop located between Hamamatsu and Kawanehoncho, neighboring Shizuoka. Photo #2 is Mount Nanatsumine, 1533m, located between Shizuoka and Kawane-honcho. Photo #3 is Mount Daimuken, 2329m, situated between Shizuoka and Kawane-honcho and one of the 200 popular mountains in Japan. Photo #4 is Mount Mafuji(right), 1343m, and Mount Daini-Mafujisan(left), 1403m, some of the popular hiking destinations for Shizuoka residents. Photo #5 is Mount Ryuso, 1051m, twin-peaked mountain in Shizuoka which is popular hiking destination for schoolchildren.
Mount Takakusa, 501m, is by far the most popular hikes from Okabe. The mountain is often picked for school hiking or training hike for novice hikers. Dairabou, 561m, is a bit too easy for serious hikers and rather a goal for mountain bikers. The mountain is located in Shizuoka but it is close to the border between Fujieda(Okabe) and Shizuoka. Dairabou is noted for the great views of Warashina river, Shizuoka City area(photo #1), and on a clear day, you may even see Mount Fuji and the peaks of Minami(Southern) Alps. Bikuishi, 524m, is also a popular hiking destination from Okabe. Some people start the hike from Gyokuro-no-Sato. It takes about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours from Gyokuro-no-Sato to the mountain summit. Mount Mankanho, 470m, is noted for the great views for Mount Fuji. It is a mountain located in Shizuoka but Tokai Nature Trail by-pass course leads you to the summit from Utsunoya pass area. Mount Hanazawa is the mountain located near the Nihonzaka Pass. It is often climbed together with Mount Takakusa and Mount Mankanho. Climbing all three peaks takes about 4 to 5 hours.
Mount Takakusa at the border between Yaizu and Fujieda is one of the top 3 popular hiking destinations from Okabe area. The mountain is often picked for novice hikers because the route is well-managed and is easy to follow and has nice views from the mountaintop. It is what Mount Takao to Tokyo residents or Mount Tsukuba to north Kanto plain residents. It is 501 meters above sea level and boasts great views of the nearby mountains, Nihondaira Highlands, Suruga Bay, Yaizu port and if the weather is good, Mount Fuji. There are a number of routes to climb the mountain. The most popular one is Sakamoto route starting from Rinsoin Temple in Yaizu. Other routes include Ishiwaki, Sekikata in Yaizu, Miwa and Megurisawa in Okabe(currently in Fujieda). Experienced hikers also try neighboring mountain peaks from Mount Takakusa, the most popular of which is Mount Mankanho.
Also see Peakery.com Mount Takakusa
Best Hiking Season: October-December, January-May
Seasons to Avoid: June-September, Because of Rainy Season, Occasional Local Downpours, Being Too hot to climb, Frequent Thunder Showers, Fallen trees after typhoon attacks.
Snowing season. It rarely snows on the mountain even during winter, once or twice during February-March.
The park at the goal of #20 hiking course of Fujieda, Satoyama-no-Michi(Satoyama trail), has a huge rock momunent, weighing 250 ton. But its biggest lure of the park is Health Promenade the pricky trail for barefooted walk to stimulate your sole parts.
Nagayamon is one of the most commonly seen traditional gates in Japan. It literally means "the gate with resident houses". It started as a gate for samurai residents but since the late Edo Period during 19th century wealthy owners of huge farmland started to build that style of gates mainly for warehouses for agricultural tools or in some part of Japan for sericulture. The gate of Shigitani Family built in mid 19th century has two rooms as residential area and one room for warehouse. The gate entrance lies between residential section and warehouse section.
Well known Nagayamon gates in Japan include: Masuda House Iwade, Wakayama, Akizuki castle, Asakura, Fukuoka, Uwajima Castle, Uwajima, Ehime, Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto.
Gochinyorai park is a park created on the place where Seiganji Temple had originally been. In this park Gochinyorai statues the only remnant of the temple sit and an tourist information office is set up. Most of the tourist guides and leaflets are in Japanese but there are some English language leaflets available and some infos on board translated into English. So far no Chinese or Korean leaflets. I hope they will furnish them soon!
When you walk into the old highways in Japan you will encounter the place where the road shows a right-angle turn. This is called "masugata" or right-angle turn. Okabe-shuku also has such a right-angled turn at the intersection near the Okabe-Branch municipal office of Fujieda. It is built that way so that the enemy cannot easily go into the specific place.
Miwa Shrine is one of the few remaining ancient style shrines in Japan built by the wishes of Empress Kogyoku in 644. The shrine is located at the place where Mt. Takakusa the sacred mountain according to the shrine was blocked by the hill mountain. The shrine retains the ancient style of Shintoism praying directly to the sacred mountain and its triple-torii, very rare in Japan.
The legend has it that in this bridge at Okabe Ono-no-Komachi legendary Japanese beauty and one of the finest female waka poets felt shocked to find her face mirrored in the river so exhausted and aged after being in a long trip.
Sho'ouin temple is the goal of the Yamanobe Trail as well as one of the most popular places of interest in Okabe-Shuku, 21st lodging station of Tokaido Highway. The temple is best known by the two-storied pagoda constructed in 1979 well appreciated by traditional Japanese architecture buffs in Japan.
The building is called O-hatago Kashibaya...
A hatago was a type of Japanese hotel from the EDO period....
O-hatago mean that it was a high-grade hotel...It was built almost 170 years ago in 1836..
Until 10 years ago, an old lady lived here alone...After her death, the okabe town bought this building...
The main building is a reconstruction of the old Japanese hotel at that time and also serves as a historical museum.
There are two storehouses in the Edo and Meiji eras, used as gallery and Japanese restaurant.
You can experience konnyaku and tofu making at the multi-purpose hall.
The ministry of culture has awarded this site as a CULTURAL ASSET it has also won and award by the city of shizuokaBB
In the travelog there is more information on the hatago (click)
The fee is over 15 years old 300 yen,
younger is 150 yen
Closing Days Monday in case of holidays, closed on the next day,
the year-end through New Year holidays
Opening Hours 9:00 - 17:00
There is a Guide who will take you around and explain all the details and things around the house, BUT ONLY IN JAPANESE...