A break from Japan car auctions and exporting for a climb up Mt. Daisen (literally 大 and the Japanese pronunciation for mountain 山 or “san” (you know the owner of a Japanese restaurant outside of Japan is not Japanese when they call their restaurant “Fujiyama”, Japanese call Mt. Fuji … “Fuji san”)).

Diasan mountain hike

Daisen is the highest peak in the Chugoku area (central region) at 1,729m and is situated in the Daisen-Oki National Park, a 3 hour drive from Nishinomiya, Kansai.

Google map from Nishinomiya to Daisan

My keen hiking daughter, Sarah French, was keen to climb it so I took up the challenge.

So we left mother/wife in the car to set off on the official 5 hour hike

Waiting in the car
Don’t worry, she left the car and went shopping in the local town as soon as the shops opened.


The park has the largest forest of beech trees in Japan, quite impressive and cool to walk under on the 36 degree Japanese summer day.

Daisen beech trees


The hike consists of walking up a few stairs, quite a few: 2400 of them.

From the start:

Stairs up Daisan

To the middle:

Stairs up Daisen

To some more agressive congolmerates towards the top:

Daisan stairs

To walking board stairs on the summit:

Daisan summit stairs

And then the summit:

Summit of Daisen
Sarah French on the summit board walk


Jon French on Daisen summit
Jon French


And the views from the top:

Daisan summit view

Personally, walking up is a good work-out, but it is not that hard.  The hard or difficult part is coming down and the impact on the knees. But what goes up must come down, even if there IS a little pain in the final few hundred stairs!

Arrival back