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Panorama Ginza Traverse From Mt. Tsubakuro to Mt. Chogatake via Mt. Otensho and Mt. Jonen

A traverse with outstanding views of Mt. Yarigatake and the Hotaka peaks.
  • Duration
    4Days / 22.5Hours
    Highest Point
    2922m
    Elevation Gain
    1422m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

This trek is on the Nagano Prefecture side of the Northern Japanese Alps. Mt. Tsubakuro (Tsubakuro-dake), Mt. Otensho (Ohtensho-dake), Mt. Jonen (Johnen-dake), and Mt. Chogatake (Chohga-take) are visible from the cities of Matsumoto and Azumino at the foot of the range. As such they're known as the Jonen Mountains (Jonen-sanmyaku) and have a special place in the hearts of the locals. The whole trail has a superb view of Mt. Yarigatake and the Hotaka peaks to the right as you walk along.

The trail begins with a steep climb through the forest. For about three hours until you reach Kassen-goya mountain hut. From there the trail leaves the forest and hikes gently. After a while, it passes an area with chains installed to help you along. After another gentle slope you arrive at Enzan-so mountain hut where you'll spend your first night. (Find a detailed write-up of the hike to Enzan-so here.) A round trip hike from the hut to the summit of Mt. Tsubakuro takes approximately an hour. The second day proceeds along rocky section slopes with lots of ups and downs through a landscape of shrubs and creeping pine. Approximately 3 hours from Enzan-so, you ascend a rocky area with chains and ladders and arrive at Daiten-so mountain hut. From here you set out on the roughly ten-minute hike up a rocky section slope to the summit of Mt. Otensho. You then return to Daiten-so and continue the hike along a gentle trail of rocky section and gravel through creeping pine. It takes about another 3 hours to get to Jonen-goya mountain hut, the hut where you'll spend the second night. On the third day, the trail zig-zags for approximately 70 minutes up a rocky section slope until you reach the summit of Mt. Jonen. From there you descend among granite outcrops and pass through a shrub zone with areas of wetland. A gentle roughly four-hour hike through a landscape of creeping pine will bring you to Chogatake Hutte where you'll spend the night. On the fourth day, you cross another creeping pine zone and arrive at a swampy area called Yoseino-ike Pond. From there you hike Mt. Nagakabe (Nagakabe-yama) and descend on a ridge trail with occasional ladders through the forest until you reach Tokusawa. The two mountain huts there are great for a break. You then continue along a flat road for about 2 hours before arriving at Kamikochi.

Other Info

In summer the heights bloom with alpine plant like Dicentra peregrine (Komakusa) bleeding hearts.
If you are lucky, you may encounter a ptarmigan in one of the zones of creeping pine. These birds are a protected species designated as special natural treasure.

Notes

Lots of this trek is on exposed ridgelines above the tree line, so you need to take precautions with lightning strike and sudden gusts of wind.
There are lots of loose stones along the rocky section slopes on Mt. Jonen, so you should watch your step.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
4Days / 22.5Hours
Highest Point
2922m
Elevation Gain
1422m
Horizontal Distance
32.2Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Kassen-goya , Enzan-so, Daiten-so, Otensho Hutte, Jonen-goya, Chogatake Hutte, Tokusawa-en, Tokusawa Lodge, Myojin-kan and more

Eating

Tokusawaen, Kamikochi Shokudo

Hot-Springs

Konashi-no-yu

Instagram

more

Access

From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line to Shinjuku Station (Approx. 15 minutes). From there, transfer to the limited express train on the JR Chuo Line to Matsumoto Station (Approx. 2 hours and a half minutes). At Matsumoto Station, change to the JR Oito Line and get off at Hotaka Station (Approx. 30 minutes).
It's a roughly 50-minute bus ride from Hotaka Station to the Mt. Tsubakuro trailhead. Buses depart regularly. From the Kamikochi Bus Terminal at the end of the hike, take an Alpico kotsu (Transit) Bus to Shinshimashima Station (Approx. 65 minutes). From there it's approximately a 30-minute ride on the Matsumoto Electric Railway to Matsumoto Station.

Links

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