Sabane-yama is located between Obanazawa of the Murayama region, and Funagata of the Mogami region. Historically, Sabane-yama and the Sabane-toge (mountain pass) were used to travel between the two regions, and many famous people have passed through here over the centuries. Matsuo Basho came through the pass while compiling The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and Isabella Bird during her travels from Tokyo to Hokkaido. The trails were also used for Sankin Kotai, when feudal warlords spent one year living in Edo, and one in their respective domains, during the Edo period. In terms of the hike, you start off at Funagata Station and head south through a residential area. Then, there is a magical cedar forest that turns into a standard forest. Keep following it, and this takes you all the way to the Nogyo Taiken Jishu Kan (facility for learning agriculture). From here, it’s only a short hike to the Rekishi Minzoku Shiryokan (historical folk museum) and there are also some soba restaurants and gardens to check out nearby. The main highlight, however, was the Sabane-yama Jizo-do, a temple of the Soto Zen sect that overlooks the Mogami River. This place alone is worth visiting, and they even sell Soba noodles at the restaurant attached. Keep following the road down past the temple, and on your right you will find a bush where the actual Sabane-yama summit is. Then it’s just a matter of retracing your steps, or following the road where the Rekishi Minzoku Shiryokan is right down the mountain. Take a right at the shrine gates, then a left at the family mart, and you’ll soon find yourself back in the residential area from the start.