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Mt. Tanigawa Circuit Up Nishiguro-one Ridge and Down Tenjin-one Ridge

A ridgeline hike worth the walk.
  • Duration
    1Day / 6.5 Hours
    Highest Point
    1977m
    Elevation Gain
    1240m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

Mt. Tanigawa (Tanigawa-dake) is on the border of Gunma and Niigata prefectures. The summit consists of the twin peaks of Toma-no-mimi and Oki-no-mimi. Mt. Tanigawa has been selected as one of Japan's 100 most famous mountains. This route showcases the Nishiguro-one Ridge, one of Japan's top three steep hikes along with Kuroto-one Ridge at Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Southern Japanese Alps and Bunatate-one Ridge at Mt. Eboshi (Eboshi-dake) in the Northern Japanese Alps. It features a ropeway and descends via Tenjin-one Ridge, which has a relatively small difference in elevation.

From Tanigawadake Ropeway Doaiguchi Station, pass in front of the Tanigawadake Tozanshido Center (Tanigawadake mountain Guidance Center ) and walk for about 10 minutes until you come to the trailhead for Nishiguro-one Ridge.

Ascend the steep slope through broad-leaf forest until you pass the tree line. The trail gets rocky and continues through a shrub zone. After climbing through several areas with chains, you continue along a level ridgeline before briefly descending. About 2 hours 40 minutes from the trailhead you'll arrive at the col called “Rakuda-no Col,” meaning “Camel’s Col” in Japanese.

After climb a rocky area with chains and a ridge with sasa bamboo and rock pine, you'll arrive at Toma-no-mimi, the first of Mt. Tanigawa's twin peaks. It's about an hour and 20 minutes from Rakuda-no Col. You can make a round trip hike to the other peak, Oki-no-mimi, in about 20 minutes.

From Toma-no-mimi you pass Tanigawadake-katano-koya mountain hut and descend via Tenjin-one Ridge. Hiking down the scree slope through sasa bamboo, you will arrive at a huge rock outcrop called "Tengu-no-tamariba." It's about 30 minutes from Toma-no-mimi.

Hike along the level boardwalk and then descend through a rocky zone with chains and continue down through a shrub zone. You'll reach Kumaanazawa-hinan-goya shelter hut about 30 minutes after leaving Tengu-no-tamariba.

Traverse the rocky area and go down the gentle wooden path. Ascend again through a beech forest. You will reach Tenjin-toge Pass about 50 minutes after leaving Kumaanazawa-hinan-goya shelter hut. Hike another 10 minutes down to Tenjin-daira where the ropeway awaits and take it to finish the route.

Other Info

A variety of alpine plants bloom from July to August around Tanigawadake-katano-koya mountain hut and Tenjin-one Ridge. You'll enjoy the seasonal scenery as you hike, for instance when the foliage of the shrubs along the trail turns brilliant colors from late September to early October.

Notes

As mentioned previously, the ascent along the Nishiguro-one Ridge is one of Japan's three steepest climbs.
If you get worn out hiking to the summit and there's a chance you might miss the lift’s or ropeway's final departure, don't push it. Just spend the night at Tanigawadake-katano-koya mountain hut.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day / 6.5 Hours
Highest Point
1977m(Mt. Tanigawa Oki-no-mimi)
Elevation Gain
1240m
Horizontal Distance
9.9Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Tanigawadake-katano-koya

Eating

View Terrace Tenjin Restaurant

Hot-Springs

Yu Terume Tanigawa

Instagram

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Access

Mt. Tanigawa is located at the border of Gunma and Niigata prefectures. Take the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Jomo Kogen Station (approx. 80 minutes).
Then take a Kan-etsu Kotsu Bus from Jomo Kogen Station to Tanigawa-dake Ropeway Doaiguchi Station (approx. 50 minutes). On the return, from Tenjin-daira take the ropeway to Tanigawa-dake Ropeway Doaiguchi Station (approx. 15 minutes). Get on a Kan-etsu Kotsu Bus from Doaiguchi Station to Jomo Kogen Station (approx. 50 minutes) to take the Joetsu Shinkansen.

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