This is an 8km return day hike along a section of the old Tosa Highway (Tosa Kaido 土佐街道) that was used during the Yamato and Meiji Eras to Mt. Sanboujiyama (1,158m). The hike starts in Otoyo, Kochi Prefecture. The hike passes a point where the three prefectures of Kochi, Ehime and Tokushima meet. You also hike via Sasagamine 笹ヶ峰.
Hike time: 4hrs (not including rests but our pace was slow).
Season: Late winter -21st February 2016
Difficulty: Beginner (1/5 difficulty) – Requires basic fitness otherwise you might struggle. Despite being a small mountain relatively speaking this area is quite isolated with no civilisation nearby. Mobile phone access is limited.
Our group of 6 left the Otoyo convenience store (Circle K) at about 9.05am and headed towards Tajikawa. A few minutes before you reach the trailhead there is a “road closed” sign due to a landslide 20km along the highway.Technically you should stop your car here and walk (this will add an extra 30 minutes of road walking to the hike).
We reached the starting point of the hike at 9.30a.m which was half an hour behind schedule. The first section of the hike travels along the old Tosa Kaido. It’s quite beautiful but gets a little steep and slippery in some short sections towards point #2. We decided not to return this way on the way back as we didn’t want any injuries and instead used the road.
We continued along the Tosa Kaido towards the border of Kochi and Ehime. You’ll see a large timber pole on the track marking the prefectural border and the “last resting spot” on the old Tosa Road before Shikokuchuo. Sasagamine (笹ヶ峰) is to the west. From here we headed east to point #3 following the ridge and a less clearly defined trail. There are a few steep sections that may prove difficult in muddy conditions but otherwise it was a fairly straight forward section.
Once we reached our destination we had lunch. We returned via the same trail to point #2 however we returned by the road (which is closed to vehicles) due to slippery conditions.
- Yamakei Info: Sanbojiyama – http://www.yamakei-online.com/yamanavi/yama.php?yama_id=19893