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Mt. Yarigatake: Round Trip from Kamikochi

An Easy to Follow Route Up This Sharp Northern Japanese Alps Peak.
  • Duration
    3Days / 19.5Hour
    Highest Point
    3180m
    Elevation Gain
    1680m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

Mt. Yarigatake is located in the southern part of the Northern Japanese Alps, and its jagged summit is easily recognizable from the surrounding mountains. With an elevation of 3,180 meters above sea level, it's the fifth highest mountain in Japan, and it is the second highest in the Northern Japanese Alps after Mt. Okuhotaka (Okuhotaka-dake).

Here we showcase the Yarisawa Route from Kamikochi. It's relatively easy to follow, without any rock ridges. Other more difficult approaches include the trail traversing the Higashikama Ridge (Higashikama-one) from the Nagano side, the trail traversing the Nishikama Ridge (Nishikama-one) from the Gifu side, and a traverse of the Hotaka peaks.

From the Kamikochi Bus Terminal, you’ll come to Kappa Bridge (Kappa Bashi). Do not actually cross it, just follow the left bank along the Kamogawa River. After passing a camping area, you'll hike along a level woodland path. In an hour you'll pass Myojin, and in about two hours you'll reach Tokusawa. The Tokusawa Lodge and Tokusawa-en mountain huts have grassy zones that are popular for camping.

Continue from Tokusawa on the level path through the woods and you'll reach Yokoo, which is about 3 hours from Kamikochi. It's 22 kilometers between Kamikochi and Mt. Yarigatake, and Yokoo is almost exactly midway along. There is a mountain hut at Yokoo.

The trail onward from Yokoo narrows further. You'll get your first peak of Mt. Yarigatake once you reach Yarimigawara. Cross two bridges and you'll arrive at Yarisawa Lodge, about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Yokoo. Spend your first night here.

The next morning as you continue, you cross into shrubland around Babadaira with its camping area, and then the path becomes scree.
When the trail turns left, you'll ascend a scree slope through meadows. Hiking up through the stone pine belt from the fork at Tenguhara, you'll wind through an area of moraine called the Green Band and Mt. Yarigatake will come into view.

From there the steep ascent continues past the turn-off for Hutte Oyari and Sessho Hutte until you reach Yarigatake Sanso mountain hut. In July and August, a profusion of alpine plants bloom in this area. Hike up the winding steeply path and you’ll arrive at Yarigatake Sanso. From there head for the summit of Yarigatake, known as Yarinohosaki.

You'll make your way up and come back down via different routes. Climb the rocky area following the paint markings while using ladders and chains to help you along. After two final ladders you’ll find yourself on the summit.
Carefully descend with the aid of ladders and chains to the mountain hut where you'll spend your second night.

You'll make your way back down the mountain on the third day.

Other Info

Tengu-ike Pond is about a 40-minute hike up from the Tenguhara junction. With its reflection of Mt. Yarigatake, it's a popular spot for photographs between mid-August when the snow melts and the end of September with its foliage. It makes a nice stop on the descent if you have the time and energy.

Notes

There is a risk of lightning strikes on the summit due to its shape.
While there's a device at Yarigatake Sanso that senses when lightning is in the region, as the rocky area along the summit can be slippery in inclement weather, you'll want to proceed with caution regardless.

Wearing a helmet while climbing to the summit is also recommended. These are available for rent at Yarigatake Sanso.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
3Days / 19.5Hour
Highest Point
3180m
Elevation Gain
1680m
Horizontal Distance
35.6Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Myojinkan, Tokusawa Lodge, Tokusawa-en, Yokoo Sanso, Yarisawa Lodge, Hutte Oyari, Sessho Hutte, Yarigatake Sanso

Eating

Kamikochi Shokudo is on the second floor of the Kamikochi Bus Terminal (where you start and finish the hike). You can also use the dining facilities at the various mountain huts

Hot-Springs

Konashino-yu

Instagram

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Access

Mt. Yarigatake is in the southern portion of the Northern Japanese Alps at the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures. From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line to Shinjuku Station (approx. 15 minutes). Change there to a JR Chuo Line Tokyuu express train for Matsumoto Station (approx. 2.5 hours - 3 hours).
From there a Matsumoto Dentetsu train will bring you to Shin-Shimashima Station in approximately 30 minutes. Transfer to an Alpico route bus for the Kamikochi Bus Terminal (approx. 65 minutes).
You can also take Alpico's Sawayaka Shinshu-go night bus that departs from Tokyo and Shinjuku stations, arriving at Kamikochi early the next morning. It takes approximately 7 hours.

Links

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