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Mt. Shibutsu, Starting at Hatomachi Pass (Loop)

Alpine view of the high moor of Ozegahara in bloom.
  • Duration
    1Day / 6Hours
    Highest Point
    2228m
    Elevation Gain
    819m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

Located on the western side of Ozegahara, Mt. Shibutsu (Shibutsu-san) is one of Japan's 100 most famous mountains. Towering above the wetlands with their alpine plants and stunning autumn leaves, the mountain features prominently in many photographs of the Oze area. Most hikers gaze up at it while hiking Ozegahara but hiking this symbol of Oze will offer a view of the wetland from above.

Descending the boardwalk and stairs from Hatomachi Pass (Hatomachi-toge), you arrive at Yamanohana. It's a fine place for a break with a toilet, a mountain hut, and a visitor center. From there, continue across the marsh on the double-track boardwalk. At the end of the wetland, leave the boardwalk and start hiking the mountain trail. Ascend the stairs and the stone path through the forest for a while. When the trail turns to continuous boardwalk and stairs, shrubs will become more prominent and the scenery will open up. Mt. Shibutsu consists largely of a stone called serpentinite, and as more of it becomes exposed on the trail, it proceeds through a landscape of creeping pines. At this point the slope becomes gradually steeper and there are even chains at one location to help you along. Alternating between serpentinite trail and wooden steps, you arrive at Takamagahara. The peak visible from there is a false summit. You need to pass over it and hike further to reach the top of Mt. Shibutsu. After hiking to the summit, descend the serpentinite trail through the creeping pines towards Mt. Koshibutsu (Koshinbutsu-san). Hike it and then descend the boardwalk that will bring you to Oyamasawa-tashiro. The trail continues to descend among sasa bamboo and enters forest of Maries' fir trees. You then continue along the boardwalk with a mountainous view that includes Mt. Hotaka (Hotaka-yama) through broadleaf forest until you arrive back at Hatamachi Pass.

Other Info

Mt. Shibutsu has an abundance of alpine plants, including species you won't see at Ozegahara Marsh like ozeso and hosobahina-usuyukiso.

Notes

Mt. Shibutsu's serpentinite is prone to breakage. It's particularly slippery after it rains. You have to be careful not to slip or fall on no-boardwalk areas.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day / 6Hours
Highest Point
2228m
Elevation Gain
819m
Horizontal Distance
10.4Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Hatomachi Sanso, Shibutsu Sanso, Kokumin-shukusha Oze Lodge, Yamanohana-goya

Eating

Meals are available at the Hatomachi-toge Rest Area, the start and finish of the hike

Hot-Springs

Tokura-no-Yu (a day-use hot spring facility)

Instagram

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Access

It rises on the western edge of Ozegahara Marsh in northeastern Gunma Prefecture. From Tokyo Station, take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Jomo Kogen Station (Approx. 80 minutes).
From Jomo Kogen Station, take a Kanetsu Kotsu bus to reach Tokura (Approx. 2 hours). Change to a shuttle bus at Tokura to get to Hatomachi Pass (Approx. 30 minutes).

Links

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