The Izu Peninsula is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan mainly known for its hot springs, idyllic beaches, rocky seaside mountains, and abundance of natural resources. Near Ito on the east coast of this peninsula lies Mount Omuro, a dormant inverted bowl-shaped volcano belonging to the volcanic belt of Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
The peak of Mount Omuro is 580 meters above sea level and the crater is about 300 meters wide. This picturesque mountain is covered with velvety green grass almost throughout the year and is a very popular place to enjoy a beautiful unobstructed view from its summit.
Origin and Belief
At the beginning of the Late Jomon period, almost 4,000 years ago, Omuroyama was formed by a large volcanic eruption. Since ancient times, Mount Omuro has been considered a sacred mountain, with a small Shinto shrine on the east side of the mountain’s crater where the god of mountains, ocean and war is believed to reside. Other than that, there are some 300-year-old five life-size Buddha statues and eight Jizo statues set on the other sides of the mountain trail.
Mount Omuro has an interesting tradition that locals flock to its foot every year. It is called yamayaki (burning down the mountain). This 700-year-old tradition began to clear dead grass from the mountains before the spring came, which helped to grow high-quality Japanese grass that was used for daily life and to clean up insects too. Although the thatched house is hardly seen now, yet this tradition has not died out and nowadays many tourists come to see it.
The only way to access the top of the mountain is by the Mount Omuro chair lift. Its summit can be reached very comfortably and easily on a chair lift. Climbing the mountain on foot is strictly prohibited.
The crater tour offers an incredible 360° panoramic view and takes around 20 to 30 minutes to complete on foot. One can enjoy the view of the towering mountains looming like a wall on one side and the vast blue ocean rests peacefully on the other. From north to south, east to west, unforgettable views of Ito, Izu and Izu-Kogen can be enjoyed. On a clear day, Mount Fuji and the Southern Japanese Alps can also be seen from here.
The bowl-shaped hole in the middle of the crater is now an archery center where any visitor above 12 years of age can enjoy an archery experience regardless of their skill level. There is also a small shop at the summit where you can buy local delicacies during the trip.