[Mt. Maruyama in Sapporo] Mt. Maruyama Hiking Is Easy to Enjoy
August 15th, 2019
Mt. Maruyama (円山) is a small mountain in Chuo ward, Sapporo city, and its height is 225 m. Hokkaido-jingu Shrine (北海道神宮), Maruyama Athletic Field (円山総合運動場) and Maruyama Zoo (円山動物園) are built at the foot of the mountain, and are used as a place to relax by Sapporo citizens. Maruyama Park (円山公園) is an all-season tourist attraction. Cherry blossoms and Japanese apricot blossoms can be enjoyed in a spring, fresh green, hiking and watching sports can be enjoyed in a summer, fall foliage can be enjoyed in an autumn, and snow and Hatsumoude (初詣) can be enjoyed in a winter. The Maruyama Zoo opens all year round.
The Mt. Maruyama used to be called "Mt. Moiwa (モイワ山)". It means "A small mountain" in Ainu language. Mr. Michitoshi Iwamura (岩村通俊), a chief of Hokkaido Development Commission, named this neighborhood as Maruyama Village after Maruyama in Kyoto in 1872, and the mountain has been called "Mt. Maruyama" before people knows it. The mountain is popular for easy hiking, so a lot of hikers come even on weekdays.
Maruyama Zoo (円山動物園) is a zoo built in 1951 in Maruyama Park (円山公園) located in the west part of Sapporo's downtown, and is the oldest zoo in Hokkaido, and is adjacent to Hokkaido Shrine (北海道神宮) and Maruyama Baseball Stadium (円山球場). About 800,000 people visit here, and is the 2nd popular zoo after Asahiyama Zoo (旭山動物園) in the Hokkaido. The Asahiyama Zoo is the most popular zoo in the Hokkaido at present, but the Maruyama zoo originally used to be the most popular zoo. Because they improve a way to display of animals, the Maruyama Zoo is planning to become more attractive zoo in future. 184 types of about 950 animals are bred in February 28, 2014. Article is here
Sapporo (札幌) that about 1,960,000 people live is the largest city in Hokkaido. Although there are various theories, its origin of the name is "Dry Big River (乾いた大きな川)" in Ainu language. A population of the Sapporo is the 4th largest city after Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya in japan, and the population accounts for 36 % of Hokkaido's population! So the Sapporo has been flourished as the center of the Hokkaido. The area of the Sapporo is 1,121.26 km2, and is about as big as Hong Kong, and is the 7th largest city in the Hokkaido. The Sapporo is also famous as a tourist city, and about 15 million people come. As for a climate, it is hot that temperature rises to nearly 25 degrees in a summer, but it is easy to live without moisture. I always feel a little cool. It is cold that temperature falls to nearly -10 degrees in a winter, and amount of snowfall sometimes has more than 1 m. Article is here
Mt. Maruyama Hiking
The Mt. Maruyama is covered with virgin forests designated as a natural monument, and Japanese Judas trees grow at the foot of the mountain, and Mongolian oak trees grow around the top of the mountain, and Japanese linden trees and Acer pictum trees grow at the mountainside. Large trees grow naturally here and there, and visitors may feel the great natural environment of vitality. Hiking is popular, and 2 trails, Maruayama Hachijūhakkasho Course (円山八十八カ所ルート) of about 1 km length and Zoo Course (動物園ルート) of about 800 m length, are built, and the mountain has 3 trailheads, Maruayama Hachijūhakkasho Trailhead (円山八十八カ所登山口 * Northern Trailhead), Zoo Trailhead (動物園登山口 * Westrn Trailhead) and Maruyama Nishi-machi Trailhead (円山西町入口). Most of hikers go at the moountain through the Maruayama Hachijūhakkasho Trailhead nearest a subway station. A restroom is not built near the trailheads, so the hikers had better use public restrooms near an entrance of the Maruyama Park.
It takes about 30-40 minutes to go up the mountain on foot, and takes about 20 minutes to go down the mountain on foot. I went up the mountain through the Maruayama Hachijūhakkasho Course, and went down through the Zoo Course. I felt that the Maruayama Hachijūhakkasho Course was more crowded than the Zoo Course. As for clothes, I weared jeans, a shirt and sneakers. In addition, I did not bring water, but I sweated, so I guess that you had better bring about 500 ml water. I did not see hikers with a bear-avoiding bell, but it seems that a brown bear sometimes appear in the Maruyama Park, so beware of the bears. By the way, I think that visitors also had better bring mosquito repellent in a summer.
The Maruayama Hachijūhakkasho is a sacred place used as a motif of Shikoku Hachijūhakkasho (四国八十八カ所) that is famous for Shikoku Pilgrimage. Mr. Mapei Ueda (上田万平) and Mr. Zenshichi Ueda (上田善七) contributed to the development to Maruyama village as early-Meiji administrative unit for Hokkaido built the trail to make the Maruyama Virgin Forest widely known to a lot of people in 1914, and 88 stone images were set along the trail. Later also, stone images have been contributed, and about 200 stone images are set at present. Maruyama Daishido (円山大師堂) is built at the trailhead, and the statue of Dainichi Nyorai (大日如来像) and the statue of Fudo-son (不動尊像) are also built. Stone images are set here and there, so I can know a reason why here is called "A sacred power place". In addition, I am braced up by an atmosphere of the sacred power place and cold air of the forest here.
A large tree exposing its root grows nearby Inari Shrine (稲荷神社). A chipmunk appeared on the root when I saw the root unintentionally. It looked cute, and seemed to inhabit the tree.
After going up the mountain for a while, I heard the gay voices. A lot of kindergarteners with childminders went up the mountain, and a childminder carrying a kindergartener on here bag went up on foot, too. I thougt that it looked a just hard training. The childminder is a tough job. But the kindergarteners looked very fun, and thanks to their voices, I guessed that a bear did not get close to the mountain.
The mountaintop is a rocky place. A quarry used to be on the Mt. Maruyama, so I guess that it is a trace. The downtown of the Sapporo can be viewed from the mountaintop. The Mt. Maruyama is lower than Mt. Okura (大倉山) and Mt. Moiwa (藻岩山), but the view is very impressive because here gets close to the downtown of the Sapporo. I think that the view is worth seeing. A lot of hikers took a rest and had a lunch on the rocky place. I think that eathing the lunch is comfortable while seeing the good view.
I returned down through the Zoo Course. The down slope was sight. I felt that the trail with a few curves was more easyily than the Maruayama Hachijūhakkasho Course. The walking distance is also shorter than the Maruayama Hachijūhakkasho Course, so I think that hikers without any time should hike the Zoo Course.
A yezo squirrel appeared on the trail while going down the trail. It looked cute, too. I finished hiking for about 90 minutes. Trails were not so tough, and enjoying the good view was good to me.
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Pay parking is provided (823 cars)|
|Business hour||24 Hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||9 458 341*30|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations near the Maruyama Park. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
|Sapporo Maruyama Guest House Tsumuri-an(札幌円山ゲストハウス つむり庵)||
|Weekly Hotel Sanden(ウィークリーホテルさんでん)||
|Hotel Hamilton Sapporo(ホテル ハミルトン札幌)|
A page of Sapporo is here