Mt. Dainichi Trail
DO: Hike to the summit (333.3 meters above sea level) and, if the weather is good, get a view of the surrounding mountains, Tokyo Bay, and the Pacific Ocean near Tateyama. Along the way you can stop to look at the 25 meter Boudaki Waterfall. You can also stop to appreciate a small shrine, temple, and the Masuma Dam. The entire loop takes about 2 hours, and there is a small parking lot that can accommodate up to four cars at a time.
[EDIT] MY EXPERIENCE IN WINTER: I climbed Mt Dainichi again in January. I was very impressed with how well-maintained the trail is in winter. All of the tall grass had been mowed, there were no spider webs to be seen, and the trail was really pleasant all the way up. I also met other hikers as well as locals who were helping clear the trail, whereas when I went in the winter, the place felt utterly deserted. All-in-all, I recommend climbing Dainichi in winter.
I made it to the summit this time and enjoyed the panoramic view. You can see all the way from Tateyama bay up to Nokogiriyama in Futtsu. I also liked the atmosphere at the summit, which felt more like old ruins than a public park. There is a statue that seems to be crumbling with age and a picnic table that has fallen apart and practically sunken into the ground. You can also write your name in the log book, which is housed in a box by the statue.
MY EXPERIENCE IN EARLY FALL: Enticed by the description of the view from the summit, I tried to hike up Mt. Dainichi in September. It was still warm and spiders were out in full force, forcing me to duck and weave at points to avoid low-hanging webs. In the end, I had to turn back just past Boudaki because the path was completely blocked by fallen trees. I hope to try again this winter, when there might not be so many spiders and so much brush in the way, at which point I will update this post.
You can find pictures from the summit here: http://www.yamareco.com/modules/yamareco/detail-134188.html)
WHERE: Masuma, Minamiboso City, along Prefectural Road 258