Hiruzen Highland

Large Photo:The Three Hiruzen Peaks above a sea of clouds
Large Photo:The Hiruzen Highland Cycling Course
Large Photo:Yamayaki(A form of controlled burning)
Click on the following three photos to enlarge. Please select the photo you want to see.

Nature and History

The Hiruzen Highland is a plateau situated at 500–600 m above sea level. Jersey cows graze in pastures that look up to the Three Hiruzen Peaks of Mt. Kamihiruzen, Mt. Nakahiruzen, and Mt. Shimohiruzen. A variety of wildflowers, such as the dogtooth violet (Erythronium japonicum) and fringed galax (Schizocodon soldanelloides), grow along the hiking trails. A traditional land management practice, called yamayaki, has been carried out every spring for many generations. Yamayaki is a form of controlled burning that involves setting fire to the slopes of the mountains. This practice encourages the growth of new grass for the livestock to graze on, and helps to maintain the grassland habitat that supports the diverse insects and plants living in the area. Without the annual burn, the vegetation and environment would change, and the unique wildlife found here now would gradually disappear.

The Hiruzen Highland are the largest and most famous breeding ground for Jersey cows in Japan. In springtime, visitors can view the mountains through a veil of yamayaki smoke, or watch the peaks pop up above a sea of clouds. The Kimendai Observatory, along the border of Okayama and Tottori prefectures, offers a breathtaking panorama extending from the Hiruzen Highland to Mt. Daisen.


The Hiruzen Highland offer superb hiking, camping, and cycling. There are several camping sites on these highlands, including a permanent glamping site that features tents hanging between trees, and a camping site with a great view of the grassland. The Hiruzen Highland Cycling Course is about 30 km long, and hiking paths with extensive vistas lead up to the surrounding peaks.


Hiruzen Highland takes about one hour to reach from Yonago Airport by car. Or it takes about 30 minutes from Yonago Airport to Yonago Station by bus or train and about 45 minutes from Yonago Station by car. From Okayama Station, it takes about one hour and 40 minutes by car.