Hike to Mount Mikuni, Mount Shoto & Mount Jinba

For my last hike in Japan, I went back to the Lake Sagami area. I basically followed this itinerary, except that I took the bus at the beginning.

Starting at Fujino station (藤野駅) in Uenohara, I took the bus to the Kamazawa Iriguchi bus stop (鎌沢入口バス停). I then I went up Mount Mikuni (三国山) and the nearby Mount Shoto (生藤山). There was a good view of Mount Fuji (although a bit hazy) from there. I then followed the ridge until Wada Pass (和田峠) and went up again to reach the summit of Mount Jinba. I then followed the first part of the trail to Mount Takao but actually went down to Lake Sagami starting from Myo Pass (明王峠).

Above, tea farm.

Above, Mount Fuji from the summit of Mount Mikuni.

Above, Mount Fuji from the summit of Mount Shoto.

Above, at Wada Pass.

Above, stairs to the summit of Mount Jinba.

Above, looking back at Mount Shoto and Mount Mikuni.

Above, the horse statue of Mount Jinba.

Above, even hazier Mount Fuji.

Above, miso oden.

Above, on the way to Myo Pass.

Above, on the path to Lake Sagami.

Above, Yose Shrine.

Above, Lake Sagami.

Above, Chuo Expressway.

Above, at Sagamiko station.


Otama Walking Trail: Hike from Kori to Okutama

The Otama Walking Trail is a nice and easy 8km trail in Okutama, in western Tokyo. It follows the valley formed by the Tama River from Kori station to Okutama station. I had already followed the section of the trail in Hatonosu Valley last autumn but I came back for the whole trail in spring. It took me about 3.5 hours to reach Okutama.

Here is an official map of the trail and below is the trail that I actually followed, since one section near Shiromaru Dam was closed for repair (download KML):

Above, Kori JR station.

Above, Tama river, near Kori JR station (actually a slight detour from the path).

Above, the trail is well marked, with English signs. It is possible to get lost though…

Above, this is the start of a forest trail to Hatonosu.

Above, Tama River.

Above, observation point. There is a trail that goes to the shrine of Mount Mitake branching from there.

Above, at Hatonosu.

Above, on the Shiromaru Dam. Starting there, the forest trail was closed so I had to cross the dam and walk on the Ome Kaido road until I found a bridge a little after Shiromaru JR station, in order to cross the river again and rejoin the trail. The road does not have a pedestrian walkway unfortunately.

Above, fish ladder. Normally it can be visited from April to October but it was closed for repair when I was there.

Above, Ome Kaido.

Above, bridge to the trail on the other side of the Tama River.

Above, at Unazawa.

Above, after Unazawa, I followed the road until I reached Okutama station since I wanted to be there in time to catch a bus to Lake Okutama. However, there is another forest path which starts near the high school and ends at the Tama River close to the station.

Above, Okutama.

Hike to Mount Nyoho in Nikko

In May, I went back once more to Nikko. This time, I climbed Mount Nyoho (女峰山), the sister peak to the better-known (and barely higher) Mount Nantai (男体山). At 2483m, it was the highest point during my year in Japan. This is the trail I did (except I started at the Futarasan Shrine).

In the morning, I had to wake up very early in order to catch the first JR train to Nikko. Tobu trains are faster but they also start later. In Nikko, I took the bus to the start of the trail: It is located near Futarasan Shrine, in the World Heritage area. It was a hard and long climb (9.5km to the summit of Mount Nyoho, with 1900m of elevation gain) through forests and fields of stones and I crossed path with surprisingly few people for a Saturday. The view at the summit was awesome. For the way down, I first walked on the ridge until Mount Taishaku (帝釈山) then I headed down in the general direction of Mount Nantai. There was still a lot of snow left on that trail so I had to go very slowly. I then followed a road for a bit then turned left on a trail towards Nikko. I walked until I reached a shrine and the Jakko-no-taki waterfall (寂光滝). I then hitchhiked my way back to the World Heritage area in order to catch a bus to the train station.

Above, Nikko JR station.

Above, at the Nishi-Sando (西参道) bus stop.

Above, torii of Futarasan shrine. The path is on the left of the torii.

Above, at the beginning, the path goes along Futarasan Shrine.

Above, shrine at the start of the forest trail.

Above, there was an area with many azalea trees.

Above, Mount Nantai.

Above, looking back towards Nikko.

Above, Mount Nantai (left) and Mount Omanago (right).

Above, statue of Fudo near the hut on the way up.

Above, shrine near the summit.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Nyoho: Mount Komanago, Mount Omanago and Mount Nantai, now covered with some clouds.

Above, ridge towards Mount Taishaku.

Above, Mount Oku-Shirane (奥白根山).

Above, on the way to Mount Taishaku.

Above, looking back at the summit of Mount Nyohou.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Taishaku.

Above, snow on the way down.

Above, this road also leads to the start of a trail to Mount Nantai.

Above, Mount Nyoho and Mount Taishaku.

Above, on the trail back to Nikko.

Above, more azalea.

Above, Jakko waterfall at the end of the trail.

Hike to Mount Takahata & Mount Kuratake

In May, I went on a hike to Mount Takahata (高畑山) and Mount Kuratake (倉岳山), in Yamanashi prefecture.

Here is a map of the path I walked (download KML):

I started at Torisawa station (鳥沢駅) in Otsuki, on the Chuo Main Line. The 2 mountains are on the other side of the valley from Mount Ougi and Mount Momokura. In better weather, the summits would have offered a great view on Mount Fuji. I still got a glimpse though. After Mount Kuratake, I followed the ridge until I reached Mount Daimaru (大丸). I then followed the trail down the mountain until Shiotsu station (四方津駅), in Uenohara. When I came in the morning, I was intrigued by a large tunnel-like inclined structure next to that station: It turns out is is called the Commore Bridge and is a 200m elevator/escalator combination leading to an area called Commore Shiotsu. I went up there while waiting for the train back to Tokyo.

This page can serve as a reference to reach the trailhead (at the end, it goes a bit further after Mount Daimaru than what I did).

Above, Torisawa station in the morning.

Above, the tunnel to cross the tracks.

Above, on the other side of the rail tracks.

Above, the start of the trail. It looks closed but the door on the right is actually open.

Above, view of Mount Ogi on the other side of the valley.

Above, summit of Mount Takahata.

Above, Mount Fuji with a few clouds.

Above, summit of Mount Kuratake.

Above, Mount Momokura.

Above, Mount Ougi.

Above, Mount Takatsukayama (高柄山).

Above, Commore Bridge at Shiotsu.

Above, inside the Commore Bridge. The escalator is only open during rush hours so I took the elevator.

Hike to Mount Oyama, Mount Sannoto & Mount Tonodake in the Tanzawa Mountains (part 2): From Yabitsu Pass to Okura

Continuing the spring hike to the Tanzawa Mountains.

Above, start of the trail to Mount San-no-to.

Above, Mount Oyama from the summit of Mount Sannoto.

Above, view of Mount To in the distance, from the summit of Mount Sannoto.

Above, on the way to Mount Tonodake.

Above, view of Mount Sannoto.

Above, summit of Mount To.

Above, hazy Mount Fuji.

Above, on the way to Okura bus terminal.

Above, Mount Sannoto and Mount Oyama.

Above, Okura bus station.