Tanigawa Mountain Range
The Tanigawa mountain range (Tanigawa renpo) is a range of mountains that extends over the border of Gunma and Niigata Prefectures.
The most popular Mt. Tanigawa (Tanigawa-dake) is selected as one of Japan’s 100 most famous mountains. Its high accessibility provided by the Tanigawadake Ropeway extending from the eastern skirt makes it easy enough for beginner hikers to reach the summit, and many hikers visit the mountain when it is free of snow.
The area is located where the wet snow clouds from the Niigata prefecture-side directly hit, and therefore experiences heavy snowfalls during the winter season. Such a rough climate sets the tree limit at approximately 1,500 meters above sea level, allowing hikers to enjoy an extensive view from ridgelines, and view alpine plants, even though all the mountains are around 2,000 meters in elevation.
On the ridgeline extending north from Mt. Tanigawa, Mt. Ichinokura (Ichinokura-dake), Mt. Shigekura (Shigekura-dake) and Mt. Buno (Bunoh-dake) stand in a row. The Yomogi-toge and Shimizu-toge Passes are in between, and there is a clockwise traverse route that is popular among good hikers on the opposite shore of the Yubiso-gawa River, which is known as “Mt. Tanigawa Horseshoe Trail Traverse.” It connects Mt. Asahi (Asahi-dake), Mt. Kasagatake and Mt. Shiragamon, extending southward.
On the westward ridgeline extending from Mt. Tanigawa are Mt. Mantaro (Mantaro-yama), Mt. Senno-kura (Senno-kura-yama) and Mt. Tairappyo (Tairappyo-yama). The southward ridgeline of Mt. Tairappyo, with ridges in all four directions, leads to the Mikuni-toge Pass, which has been an important point of transportation since olden days.
The Ichinokura-sawa, on the east side of Mt. Tanigawa, is famous as a rock-climbing route. The precipitous rock cliff is unfortunately also the site of frequent fatal accidents.