Mt. Nishihotaka: Round Trip from Shinhotaka Onsen Trailhead | HIKES IN JAPAN

Mt. Nishihotaka: Round Trip from Shinhotaka Onsen Trailhead

Use a Ropeway to Scale the Hotaka Peaks.
  • Duration
    2Days / 7.5Hours
    Highest Point
    Elevation Gain
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

The Hotaka mountain range is in the Northern Japanese Alps running north-south along the border of Gifu and Nagano prefectures. Consisting of peaks that include Mt. Kitahotaka (Kitahotaka-dake), Mt. Maehotaka (Maehotaka-dake), Mt. Karasawa (Karasawa-dake), and the highest peak of Mt. Okuhotaka (Okuhotaka-dake), it's a popular destination with hikers. This route showcases Mt. Nishihotaka (Nishihotaka-dake). It's one of the range’s most popular peaks as the ropeway brings you part of the way up, and Nishiho Sanso mountain hut is open year-round.

Get off the No.2 Ropeway. After passing the Sengoku-enchi Nature Park with its many tourists, you'll reach the Hiking Center. From there you'll cross a small peak and continue up a steep slope through a conifer forest belt. In about 90 minutes you’ll arrive at Nishiho Sanso where you’ll spend the night.

On the second day, you ascend a slope through scrub pine and reach wide-open Mt. Maruyama. Ascend the scree slope and pass to the left of the ridge and you'll arrive at the start of Nishiho Doppyo. It's about 90 minutes from Nishio Sanso.

Follow the paint marks through the rocky area with its chains and you'll reach the summit of Nishiho Doppyo. It’s known as the 11th peak, and from there you proceed from the 10th peak to the summit along a rock ridge while ascending and descending peaks of various sizes.

The stretch between the 10th and 9th peaks has precipitous drops along both sides of the rock ridge. The 8th peak is called Pyramid Peak, and the 7th has chains to help you along. As you continue up the left of the ridgeline and ascend a scree slope, you'll arrive at the 4th peak, known as Champion Peak.

The ascent continues along the left side of the ridgeline, and after you pass a steep rocky area, you'll arrive at the summit of Mt. Nishihotaka. It's about 90 minutes from Nishiho Doppyo.

You'll return via the same trail you hiked on the way up.

Other Info

The Shinhotaka Ropeway has plenty of tourist facilities. At Shin-Hotaka Onsen Station, the departure point for the No.1 ropeway, there is a shop, a restaurant, and a foot bath. The station where you connect at Nabedaira Highland has a visitor center and an open-air bath. Shirakabadaira Station, where the No.2 ropeway departs from, has a restaurant, a bakery, and a footbath. There is also a cafe, restaurant, and shop at the last stop, Nishihotakaguchi Station. The rooftop observation deck has a great view of Mt. Nishihotaka, Mt. Kasagatake, Mt. Yarigatake, and other peaks.


There are numerous rock ridges of varying sizes between Nishiho Doppyo and Mt. Nishihotaka and slips have led to many accidents. While climbing Nishiho Doppyo, if you feel any reservations about proceeding, turn back.
We also recommend wearing a helmet. They are available for rent at Nishiho Sanso for same-day return.

Best Season:July to early October
If you go to this trail outside of the best season, you should pay attention to weather and trail conditions, as the mountain is located in a snowy area; there may still be snow on the trail in July, and it may start snowing from October. Snow mountaineering equipements and experience are required during the winter season.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)


2Days / 7.5Hours
Highest Point
2909m(Mt. Nishihotaka)
Elevation Gain
Horizontal Distance
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail




Nishihotakaguchi Station Cafe Mount View, Nishiho-Sanso






This hike is in the southern part of the Northern Japanese Alps, on the border of Gifu and Nagano prefectures. From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line and arrive at Shinjuku Station in approximately 15 minutes. Change there to a JR Chuo Line Tokyu express train and you'll arrive Matsumoto Station in roughly 2.5 hours - 3 hours.
From Matsumoto Station, an Alpico route bus will bring you to the Hirayu Bus Terminal (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes). Change there to a Nohi Bus for Shinhotaka Onsen spa (approx. 40 minutes). From Shin-Hotaka Onsen Station, take the No.1 ropeway for approximately 4 minutes. Change at Nabedairakogen Station. Then take the No.2 ropeway for approximately 7 minutes to Nishihotakaguchi Station. There are also direct buses from Tokyo and Toyama to the Hirayu Bus Terminal.



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