大室山 Mt. Ōmuro
Some facts about Mt. Ōmuro, the most famous volcano in Izu
I live in Ito, the most populous city on the Izu peninsula. The most defining geographical feature of Ito, is Ōmuro Mountain, a dormant volcano.
Local geologists describe Mt. Ōmuro as a scoria cone volcano – aka a cinder cone. “Cinder cones are the most common type of volcano in the world. They are small in comparison to the other types of volcanoes. In fact, they’re only tens to hundreds of meters in size. But at the same time, they’re very steep typically with a bowl-shaped crater at the summit.” (EarthHow.com)
Everywhere you go around Ito, you see scoria that came from Mt. Ōmuro.
In late winter, for more than 700 years, the annual yamayaki event takes place at Mt. Ōmuro. Yamayaki literally means “mountain burning.” The original purpose of the event was to produce high quality kaya (sedge grass) that was used for thatched roofs. Over the past 100 years, thatched roofs have virtually disappeared in Japan, but the tradition carries on as a tourism event. The entire mountain burns in about half an hour.