Mt. Kitadake Loop from Hirogawara | HIKES IN JAPAN

Mt. Kitadake Loop from Hirogawara

This loop course of Japan’s 2nd highest mountain offers plenty of variety.
  • Duration
    2Days / 11.5Hours
    Highest Point
    Elevation Gain
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level
Mt. Kitadake (Elevation: 3193 meters) is the highest mountain in the Southern Japanse Alps and the 2nd-highest mountain in Japan after Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san). Referred to as the Shirane Sanzan (three peaks) collectively with Mt. Ainodake (Elevation: 3190 meters), which is tied as Japan’s third highest mountain, and Mt. Notori (Notori-dake), it can be seen as far away as the Kofu Basin. While there is a course that transverses the Shirane Sanzan as well as a course that transverses to Mt. Shiomi (Shiomi-dake), here we introduce a loop route that starts and ends in Hirogawara and offers different scenery to enjoy on the outward and return trips.

After getting off the bus at Hirogawara, cross the suspension bridge and ascend through the virgin forest. Proceed left at the fork and ascend along Okanba-sawa (Ohkanba-sawa) while crossing the few bridges located along the way and you will arrive at Futamata in approximately two and a half hours. After traversing the slope you will arrive at the Shiraneoike-goya mountain hut, which is where you will stay the night.

The next day, return to Futamata. After passing over the snowy valley of Okanba-zawa and ascending the grassland, which becomes a field of flowering alpine plans in the summer, the Mt. Kitadake buttress will come into view. After you pass over the Happonba-sawa, climbing the steep slope along the wooden steps amongst the shrubs and your field of view opens up as you enter the creeping pine zone, you will arrive at the Happonba Col (Happonba no Col).

From here, climb the scree slope, which also has some boulders, and you will arrive at the Tsurione Ridge fork. Turning right from here and ascending the scree slope of the ridge, you will reach the summit of Mt. Kitadake in approximately 20 minutes.

Descend along the ridge from the summit to the Kitadake Katano-koya mountain hut and, once you arrive at the Kotaro Ridge (Kotaro-one) fork, take the right fork and descend the steep slope through the Kusasuberi grassland. Once you return to the Shiraneoike-goya, traverse through the shrubs, and descend through the forest, you will arrive at Hirogawara in approximately 2 hours.

Other Info

Mt. Kitadake is known for being a mountain with lots of flowers.
The grasslands of Kusasuberi and at the top of Okanba-zawa become carpeted in fields of flowers in the summer.
The area around the scree slopes from the Happonba Col to the peak of Mt. Kitadake is dotted with flower fields in the summer. You will likely be able to observe alpine plants including Kitadakeso (Callianthemum hondoense), an endemic species.

Best Season:July to September
If you go to this trail outside of the best season, you should pay attention to weather and trail conditions, as the mountain is located in a snowy area; there may still be snow on the trail in July, and it may start snowing from October. Snow mountaineering equipements and experience are required during the winter season.


More than three quarters of the walking time for this course is concentrated in the second day. If you have the time, we also recommend a three-day, two-night course that includes an overnight stay at the Kitadake Sanso mountain hut located after taking the left fork at Tsuri-one Fork and hiking approximately 40 minutes. The round trip to and from the Kitadake Sanso is approximately 3 hours. The course also offers a summit of Mt. Ainodake, which is tied for Japan’s third highest mountain.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)


2Days / 11.5Hours
Highest Point
Elevation Gain
Horizontal Distance
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail


Hirogawara Sanso, Shiraneoike-goya, Kitadake Sanso, Kitadake Katano-koya


Kanayamazawa Onsen, Minami Alps City


Kanayamazawa Onsen, Minami Alps City




Take the JR Chuo Line from Tokyo Station to Shinjuku Station (Approx. 15 minutes). From Shinjuku Station, transfer to the JR Chuo Line Limited Express and get off at Kofu Station (Approx. an hour and a half).
Take to the Yamanashi Kotsu Bus from Kofu Station to Hirogawara (Approx. 2 hours).



go to page topgo to page top


This site uses cookies to analyze site usage, to optimize content and advertising, and to provide social media functions.
In order to access this site, you need to agree to the use of cookies.