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Mt. Oasa

Hike an imposing mountain from Konpira Shrine to Zentsu-ji Temple.

Mt. Oasa

Mt. Oasa (616 m) is a mountain in western Kagawa. It’s part of a range that includes Mt. Kotohira (524 m) and Mt. Zozu (538 m). The shrine complex of Konpira is built on its southeastern flank, and Zentsu-ji Temple lies beyond its northern end. This makes it a superb day’s walk that takes in two of Kagawa’s principle Shinto and Buddhist heritage sites.

The walk starts at the bottom of Konpira Shrine and climbs the many steps up to the Okunoin inner sanctuary high up on Mt. Zozu, passing the beautiful shrine buildings on either side. There are expansive views of the Sanuki Plain as you go.

Just before the Okunoin, a path plunges off down a slope on your right and makes a long traverse and climb up to Mt. Oasa. You pass a large pond with a small Shinto shrine before emerging at the elongated mountaintop. Here are several broadcasting relay towers, toilets, and benches. There are cherry trees around the summit and the mountaintop is a popular spot for picnics in season. Out of season, only walkers go there. Further along the mountaintop is an observation deck with an amazingly expansive view. If your timing is right, this is the perfect place for lunch. However, the mountain is often cloaked in mist and cloud, so you may experience only a whiteout.

After this point, the path goes steeply down and joins a tarmac road which doglegs down through pleasant woodland. A path goes off the road to the left, leading to a burial mound which sits on a bare shoulder of the mountain. The Sanuki area has many kofun burial mounds on its plains. But the Notanoin Kofun on the northwest side of Mt. Oasa is notable for its location at the unusually high elevation of 405 m. The tumulus was built in the latter half of the 3rd century. It’s presumed to be the tomb of one of the first powerful figures to emerge in this area. From here you can see the five peaks of Mt. Gogaku.

The road continues its dogleg descent. On the left there’s a pet cemetery, and it’s worth going in to see the view. The mountain in the middle distance with its cluster of traditional buildings is Asahiyama Park. At the bottom of the road, you find yourself back on the plain, with the pagoda of Zentsu-ji Temple in view. The temple is a short walk through a military base built at the time of the Russo-Japanese war. It’s still used by the Japan Self-Defense Forces. On the far side of the temple, a path goes up to Mt. Gogaku.

Information

Name in Japanese: 大麻山

Pronunciation: ōasayama

Address: Takasecho Shimoasa, Zentsuji, Kagawa 767-0013

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