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The Mt. Nasu trek: Mt. Chausu, Mt. Asahi and Mt. Sanbonyari

Access Nasu Sanzan (three peaks) via ropeway and gondola, then hike to the summit and back in one day.
  • Duration
    1Day / 5Hours
    Highest Point
    1917m
    Elevation Gain
    507m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

The term “Nasudake” comprises Mt. Chausu (Chausu-dake), Mt. Asahi (Asahi-dake), and Mt. Sanbonyari (Sanbonyari-dake), as well as Mt. Minami-gassan and Mt. Kurooya (Kurooya-dake). Together, they make up the “Nasu-go-gaku (five peaks of Nasu),” with surrounding foothills extending to the gently sloping terrain of the Nasu Highlands. Mt. Chausu currently spouts smoke due to volcanic activity.
You can use ropeway and gondola to access the three main peaks of Nasu: Mt. Chausu, Mt. Asahi, and Mt. Sanbonyari. Here, we will introduce a single day hike that takes you to the summits and back.

From the ropeway, turn right at the Ushigakubi fork in the trail, and hike for approximately 40 minutes up the rocky, sloping trail to the Mt. Chausu summit. Here, you will find a small shrine and it is possible to walk around the peak along what was once a volcanic crater wall.
Descend from the peak along the trail that leads to Mineno-chaya-ato. This shelter is a rest station, which does not sell goods or services. Take the section of path that bypasses the next peak and you will be hiking along a high, rocky segment of the ridge. Take care when traversing the exposed areas with chains lining the trail. When you come to a fork in the path with a bench beside it, take the path to the summit of Mt. Asahi and back. Once you’ve hiked back to the fork, turn right toward the eastern edge of Kumamisone Ridge and continue. This area boasts beautifully colored foliage in the autumn. Cross over the 1900-meter peak, then descend the wooden steps and follow a boardwalk through the Shimizu-daira wetlands. In early summer, you can see Japanese alpine cherry blossoms and rhododendrons in bloom.
Follow the gently sloping path from Shimizu-daira and, when you reach the fork in the path, hike to Mt. Sanbonyari and back. Hike along the path through bamboo trees and Japanese dwarf pines until you reach the flat, level terrain of Mt. Sanbonyari’s summit.
From the next fork in the path, follow the gentle trail through the bamboo groves and woods of Okura-one Ridge (Ohkura-one). Your journey ends at the Nasu Gondola Sancho Station where, in early summer, you can see some 30,000 rhododendrons in bloom.

Other Info

If you can spare the time, head from Mt. Asahi to Kumamisone Ridge and spend the night at Santo-goya Onsen (Japanese-style hotel), a hot spring area hidden away in the mountains. A leisurely two-day version of the hike is also recommended. There are two ryokans, Japanese‐style hotels, with hot spring baths in the area.

Notes

You will want to exercise caution when navigating the craggy terrain of Mt. Chausu and the cliff side areas equipped with chains at Mt. Asahi. The area around Mineno-chaya is notorious for sudden gusts of wind, so it’s recommended that you cancel hiking plans on very windy days.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day / 5Hours
Highest Point
1917m
Elevation Gain
507m
Horizontal Distance
12.4Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Nasudake-hinan-goya, Mineno-chaya-ato-hinan-goya

Eating

There is Sancho Cafe at the Nasu Gondola Sancho Station where your trek ends

Hot-Springs

Gensen Nasu-zan

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Access

From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Nasu Shiobara Station (Approx. 70 minutes). Then, take the bus from Nasu Shiobara Station to Nasu Ropeway Sanroku Station (Approx. 70 minutes).
The Nasu Ropeway goes every 20 minute.

Links

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