Mt. Amakazari Round trip from Otari Onsen (hot spring) | HIKES IN JAPAN

Mt. Amakazari Round trip from Otari Onsen (hot spring)

Round trip through the beautiful mountain famous for beech forest and alpine plants.
  • Duration
    1Day / 6.5Hours
    Highest Point
    Elevation Gain
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

Mt. Amakazari (Amakazari-yama) is located on the border of Niigata and Nagano prefectures, and is in the Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park. Listed among Japan’s 100 most famous mountains, the mountain offers a variety of scenic beauty, including the beech virgin forest in its foothills, steep rock cliffs and alpine plants growing on ridgelines.
There are two major hiking routes: Niigata prefecture route and Nagano prefecture route. This course introduces a round trip route from Otari Onsen hot spring on the Nagano prefecture-side, which has less difference in elevation.

From Amakazari-kogen Camp Site, proceed through the flat shrub area along Omi-gawa River. Fork away from Omi-gawa River to get to the slope on the left, and the trail turns into a steep uphill through a broadleaved forest.

Hike through the virgin forest of beech, and a rock cliff appears in front. After about 2 hours of hiking form Amakazari-kogen Camp Site, you will arrive at a dry riverbed known as Arasugezawa, which is a water place. Looking up at the slope on the left, the rocky summit becomes visible.

Hike up the steep slope of the shrub belt from Arasugezawa, and the trail continues on to a rocky section, where ladders are placed in some parts. It takes about an hour and 20 minutes from Arasugezawa to Sasa-daira, where the broad and flat ridgeline continues on. Hike up the steep slope directly under the summit, and you will arrive at Mt. Amakazari, which is about 30 minutes away from Sasa-daira.

The summit consists of two adjacent peaks, the north peak and the south peak. The unobstructed view from the summit offers beautiful scenery including the Northern Japanese Alps, the Kubiki mountain range and the sea of Japan.

Descend the same route to the end of the trail to return.

Other Info

The Kama-ike Pond is located at the foot of Mt. Amakazari, surrounded by the virgin beech forest. It is a very popular spot for amateur photographers. Walk along the paved forestry road from Amakazari-kogen Camp Site for about 50 minutes to get to the administration building at the entrance. It takes about 30 minutes to go around the pond. After the end of autumn foliage in Mt. Amakazari from mid- to late October, visitors appreciate the autumn-colored foliage reflected on the surface of the pond water.

High Season:June to October


The best time for hiking in Mt. Amakazari is early October, when the beautiful foliage of beech and other broadleaved forest can be enjoyed, and July, when alpine plants on the ridgeline area bloom. In July, snow could still be remaining on the route. Especially in Arasugezawa where snow patches often form, you will need to take extra caution when hiking through.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)


1Day / 6.5Hours
Highest Point
1963m(Mt. Amakazari)
Elevation Gain
Horizontal Distance
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail


Otari Onsen Kyukeisha Rest Area




Amakazari-so, Amakazari-kogen Rotenburo (outdoor hot spring)




Mt. Amakazari is located on the border of Nagano and Niigata prefectures. From Tokyo station, it takes approximately 15 minutes to get to Shinjuku station on JR Chuo Line. From Shinjuku station, transfer to JR Chuo Line’s limited express, which will arrive at Minami-Otari station in 3 hour and 50 minutes.
From Minami-Otari station, take the Otari-mura Community Bus, which will arrive at Amakazari-kogen bus stop in approximately 40 minutes. From the bus stop, walk on the paved road for 3 kilometers (approx. 1 hour) to get to Amakazari-kogen Camp Site.



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