Japan’s Shortest Mountain Is Only 6.1 Meters High

Benten Mountain, in Tokushima Prefecture, is considered Japan’s shortest natural mountain with a height of just 6.1 meters and a diameter of under 60 meters.

Located in the middle of fertile paddy fields along Tokushima’s Prefectural Road 10, Benten Mountain is the shortest mountain in Japan and one of the shortest in the world. It takes the average person just one minute to reach the summit and yet over 10,000 people make the journey here every year for this specific purpose. For some, it’s just the novelty of scaling a 6.1-meter-tall mountain, others come to admire the wax tree, camelias, and other flowers that call the rocky mass their home, and a few make the short trek to reach the Itsukushima Shrine built in honor of Benzaiten, the goddess of wisdom.

Photo: wikimedia / Saigen Jiro

Benten Mountain is officially opened to tourists on June 1st, when a “First Climb of the New Year” event is organized here by local non-profit organizations. Visitors who reach the 6.1-meter summit on this day are rewarded with a Proof of Scaling Certificate, for a small fee. Throughout the year, Japan’s shortest mountain hosts numerous events, from cherry blossom festivals to wedding ceremonies.

Unsurprisingly, Benten is not only the shortest but also the safest mountain in Japan, with no accidents or missing person reports ever recorded here.


For comparison, the highest mountain in Japan, Mount Fuji, is 3,776 meters high.