Osaka has many sights and attractions to boast about. To name a few, there’s the robot drummer clown, the big robot crabs here and there and of course Tenpozan, Japan’s shortest mountain. Standing at 4.53 meters above sea level, it was a tourist draw leading to the creation of an aquarium shopping complex and giant ferris wheel.

However, now it appears Tenpozan has been relegated to second place following a recent survey by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI). Hiyoriyama in Sendai is now the nation’s lowest summit at a reevaluated height of three meters. Normally, the Osaka resident in me would demand a recount and ask for a discount on it, but considering how Hiyoriyama came to be this way, I’ll humbly congratulate the new record holder and wish them all the best.

For about 18 years, Hiyoriyama sat in second place for shortest mountain. However, that didn’t sway the residents from loving the scenic nature it provided. By scaling to its summit six meters above sea level you could enjoy a beautiful view of the Gamo Wetlands. It was an excellent spot for birders.

Sadly, that’s all gone now. The area had been reduced to a wasteland after being hit by the tsunami triggered from the Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011. The once lush mountain park had been turned into little more than a pile of sand with only a few patches of grass.

When the GSI determined the mountain’s newly reduced height of three meters on 9 April of this year, residents returned to the location and began piling stones. They also erected a sign reminding visitors that Hiyoriyama still stands.

It’s a bittersweet victory, but with this new designation of Japan’s Lowest Mountain, maybe in the near future this area in Miyagino Ward will also be a bustling tourist spot full of IMAX theatres and boat rides like Tenpozan has become over the years.

Source: Yomiuri Online (Japanese)