This May we visited Iwato-yama Mountain, Toko-ji Temple and Jukkoku-toge Pass. Iwato-yama Mountain lies on the border of Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures. We do not recommend this walk for beginners because there are few signposts on the east half of the course. Moreover, we found a toilet only in the building at the Jukkoku-toge Pass. However, if you are interested in a bird’s eye view of Yugawara town, cherry blossoms (in April) and stone Buddhist images, you may enjoy this course. At the goal point, you can visit a day spa
We began to walk from the JR Yugawara station and arrived at the Chitose-bashi bridge in 20 minutes.
07:12 At the starting point. We took the middle path.
Map reading is important. At this point, the middle slope is the correct route.
07:32 We walked through the tangerine hill and enjoyed the sweet smell of flowers.
07:51 These statues are "Mikaeshi-Jizo". Mikaeshi means to stare back and Jizo is a guardian deity of children.
This building is a reflector of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT).
We enjoyed a bird's view of Yugawara town from here.
08:09 This is one of the landmarks to Iwato-yama Mountain, a water supply pool of Atami City. We passed here and followed the right lane.
We continued to walk along the ridge. This galvanized sheet iron fence is a private property.
08:40 We arrived at Nanao（七尾）area of Atami City. There are several elegant houses.
09:04 The red arrow indicates the trail leading to Iwato-yama Mountain. The path lies under high-tension lines.
We were delighted to find a signpost to Iwato-yama Mountain (岩戸山山頂）, the middle indicator.
However, the route was officially blocked. So, we walked back to the signpost and took a route to Iwato-kannon (岩戸観音）, the lowest indicator. The Kannon is the Goddess of mercy.
This path was a steep and narrow upward slope. At the top of the slope, we found two paths. We chose a relatively gentle downhill slope to westward. Another was a very steep downhill path, probably to Iwato-kannon.
10:11 We arrived at the top of Iwato-yama Mountain, 734 meters high. This was a small space and there were a wooden table and two benches. We ate lunch here.
The road that you see deep in this photograph is the way to the Toko-ji Temple and Jukkoku-toge Pass.
10:42 There are old stone Buddhist images in the west half of this course. They were placed to lead worshippers to Toko-ji Temple from Yugawara. They showed the distances from the starting point and worked as milestones. This is the first one that we met today.
This is the entrance of Toko-ji Temple. Although we found no residents in the precincts of this temple, there were many stone Buddhist images, especially Jizo.
11:00 This is Jukkoku-toge Pass. Although we saw Mt. Fuji dimly from here, we could not get its picture on photographs.
The name "Jukkoku" means ten provinces. The pass commands a view of ten provinces in a fine day.
11:45 We returned the same path to the way down to Yugawara. We met old stone Buddhist images all along the course.
The path runs along a stream.
This is a new stone Buddhist image and it was placed 35 years ago as a donation.
This is the end of the mountain trail. From here we walked on a paved road.
13:33 The goal
We arrived at Ochiai-bashi Bridge. We walked 6 hours including two breaks. The bus stop to the JR Yugawara station is on the other side of the road.