Mt. Kobiso 小檜曽山 Winter Day Hike

This is a 5.2km day hike to Mt. Kobiso (小檜曽山, 1550m) starting at Kyobashira pass (京柱峠) in Otoyo-cho (本山町) in Kochi (Shikoku) and finishing at the same place. This hike crosses the prefectural border into Tokushima and gives a great view to Mt Miune, Tenguzuka and the Iya Valley. The Sasa grass covered peak is much the same as what you’ll find around Miune. Our original goal was to hike to Mt. Tosayahazu (土佐矢筈山, 1607m) however due to potential thunderstorms we didn’t stay at the top of the mountains for very long.

Access
Trailhead: The hike starts near here in Otoyo (map link) on the 432. There is an Udon restaurant that opens from March until November. From mid November the road may be closed due to snow. *Note* The map pin above does not show the start of the hike as the road where the hike starts isn’t on google maps. Park your car near the Udon restaurant then walk 100m down the road on your right to find the trail head.
Suggested Meeting Point: Kondou Store Supermarket

Course Information
Hike time: 3.5hours (about 1hr 40 up, 1.5hrs down, allow about 40 minutesdriving from Toyonaga to the start of the hike at Kyobashira pass)
Season: Early Spring (March)
Difficulty: Fitness (Grade 1: Easy) Technical (Grade 1: Easy)There are a few moderately steep sections however this trail is fairly easy in terms of fitness. There are one or two sections of the track where the path splits without sign-posts. Make sure to look for the red/pink tags. For this reason be sure to always carry map and GPS capable device with you. If lightning or strong wind is forecast it might be best to avoid the exposed Sasa grass peak and head back down hill.
Please see Outdoor Club Japan’s Event Grading Page for more information

kobisoyama hike hiking shikoku kochi otoyo
Visit Wikiloc for trail map and downloadable .gpx navigation file here.

Post-Hike Report
Ascent: We arrived at the trail head at Kyobashira pass at 10.00am. If you’re lucky (in Winter and Spring) and arrive early enough you may be treated to an amazing sight of the ‘cloud sea’ in the valley below. If not, the view is still amazing.

The hike does not start right where the road and the spur meet (despite the sign which you might see). There is a great spring water source here if you need to fill up. Park your car near the Udon place and follow the road leading to your right along the spur. After 100m or so you’ll see the start of the trail. From here the trail is fairly gradual until you reach a the first of two or three ‘steep’ sections. There was snow on the trail which made it a little difficult for us going up and coming down (we used micro-spikes) but in other seasons you shouldn’t have any trouble.

As we approached the top of the peak around 11:30am the vegetation began to thin. As with other areas like this (windswept with natural vegetation) there were a a heap of large, dead old trees that looked like they were ready to fall over. Expect snow in winter between 5 and 30cm to be laying around even if you can’t see it from a distance or it hasn’t snowed for a while. The snow beneath the tree line has a habit of sticking around most of the season. Our original plan was to hike all the way to Tosayahazu however time constraints and forecasts of scattered thunderstorm made us change our plans. We arrived at Kobisoyama wanting to continue!

Descent: The descent of this hike is fairly straightforward. We returned back along the same path we came. We left the peak about 12:00 midday and were back at our cars before 1:20pm. We did have a little more trouble with the snowy/steep sections mentioned above as it was slippery so if you do this in winter bring some micro-spikes.

Packing and Preparation
Outdoor Club Japan Insurance and Safety Information
Winker hiking – Micro Spikes and crampons – When to wear
Clothing Information
Food Packing Guide

Useful Links

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