The Makuyama and Nangoyama Hiking Course
[Walking time: about 3 hours and 25 minutes. Suited for average hikers.]
The top of Mt. Nangoyama, at an altitude of 610 meters above sea level, commands a fine, panoramic view of Manazuru Peninsula projecting into Sagami Bay.
If you are interested in legends, visit Jikansui Pond! It is where Yoritomo Minamoto is said to have gone to commit suicide after losing the Battle of Ishibashiyama. Legend says, after seeing the miserable image of himself reflected on the water, he made a comeback.
Take a stroll and you can also see the remains of Shodo Jizo-do (hall for guardian deities) near by―the Jizo-do appears in “Genpei Seisuiki” (The Rise and Fall of the Minamoto and the Taira clans) and is a good place for pondering the era of Warring States.
Take a bus for Kajiya at Yugawara Station. After about 10 minutes, get off at the last stop “Goro-jinja.” Here is “Goro Shrine,” also referred to as Goryosha, whose enshrined deity is Kagemasa Gongoro Kamakura, Kagechika Saburo Oba’s ancestor.
Shortly after going up the paved wide road in front of Goro Shrine, you’ll come to the branch road which leads to Mt. Nangoyama. Here, go straight ahead toward Makuyama. It is a monotonous road with a mandarin orange grove, and you can see the Shiroyama range clearly on the left side. Before long, the round Makuyama will come into view up ahead on the right. About 25 minutes from Goro Shrine, you’ll come to the Makuyama water purification plant. Here is the teahouse called “Shitodo no Iwaya.”
Walk along the paved, but narrow, path for a moment, and you’ll see “Makuyama Park” on the left-hand side and an ume grove with 4,000 trees on your right.
A large guide map marks the trailhead. It says “2,200 meters to the hilltop.” Walk to the right as if to turn back and go along the macadam path through the ume grove
On the exposed rockface of Makuyama’s steep slope to the left, you may see people enjoying rock climbing.
You’ll see pine and pin-oak groves, and cherry trees planted, after walking along the road with ume. About 30 minutes from the trailhead, you’ll come to an observatory with a rest house. This place commands a fine view of the Manazuru Peninsula and the Shiroyama area and the path, with macadam-paved log steps, zigzags gently upward. As you climb up, you’ll get a wider view of Yugawara’s streets, the Manazuru Peninsula and the areas around Ito.
After about 40 minutes from the rest house, you will come to the footpath circling the top of Makuyama. If you walk straight up, you can reach the top in a couple of minutes.
Makuyama is a round-shaped grassy hill, and offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Boso Peninsula in the far east, the Izu Peninsula in the west, the Shiroyama range nearby, the Nangoyama area, which you are going to climb later, and other places. It is an ideal place for opening your boxed lunch.
After enjoying the view from the hill top, how about walking along the course circling the top?
In addition to the splendid view of the surrounding areas, various seasonal plants and flowers should make your walk a pleasant one.
Now, how about heading for Mt. Nangoyama? Go down the firebreak on the northern slope. On your right is the cypress grove and the sedge grassland is on your left. Turn left in the middle of the firebreak.
It is a light road with the cypress grove to the right and the sedge grassland to the left, and you’ll soon come to a branch road which leads to JIkansui Pond.
If you go straight ahead, you will return to Goro Shrine (Kajiya bus stop) via Oishi-ga-daira and Ichinose Bridge.
Go into the dense cypress grove on the right. Cross Shirogane Rindo (the forest road) and walk along the road with cypress and Hakonedake bamboo trees. You’ll soon come to Jikansui Pond.
Jikansui is the place where Yoritomo Minamoto is said to have decided to commit suicide after losing the Battle of Ishibashiyama. Seeing the miserable image of himself reflected on the water changed his mind, but he was then said to have been withheld by Sanehira Doi, the head of a powerful clan in Yugawara. Jikansui is also called “Jigaisui.” (“Jigai” means “killing oneself.”)
You will return to Shirogane Rindo within 10 minutes if you walk along the mountain path where cypress and Hakonedake (bamboo trees) cut off the view.
After going down the gentle slope, turn left at the guidepost that says, “500m to Nangoyama on the left” and climb the steep slope with Hakonedake bamboo trees.
When you come to the ridge, walk to the right and you’ll see the top of Nangoyama.
You will not feel like you have come to the hill top, but you can still enjoy a magnificent view.
When you descend, go zigzagging down, with the Manazuru Peninsula before your eyes, and you’ll come to Shirogane Rindo. Walk to the right for a couple of minutes, and you’ll come to a branch road leading to Goro Shrine. Go down the steep, downhill road with a dense Hakonedake bamboo grove.
When pine trees start to become conspicuous, you will find yourself at the side of a golf course. Go down steadily along the course, and in about 10 minutes you will come to the asphalt-paved road at its end.
With the golf course on your left, go down the slope while enjoying the view of Oshima and Hatsushima islands and the Manazuru Peninsula below on the right side.
When you come into the mandarin grove, the road turns into a steep slope which might make your knees wobble, but you will enjoy a fine view of the Yugawara area. If you go down along the road, you’ll come to the branch road leading to Nangoyama which you passed before.
If you go straight down, you will come to Goro Shrine.
You can wait for a bus for Yugawara Station or walk to the station in about 35 minutes.
On the way, it is also a good idea to drop in at the public bathhouse “Yutoro Sagasawa no Yu” in the uptown area.