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Round Trip Hike of Mt. Kaikomagatake from the Kuroto-one Ridge

Hike up beyond a rocky ridgeline to a granite mountain peak.
  • Duration
    2Days / 14.5Hours
    Highest Point
    2967m
    Elevation Gain
    2190m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level
Mt. Kaikomagatake is located in the northern part of the Southern Japanese Alps, on the border between Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures, and is listed among Japan’s 100 most famous mountains. The mountain’s beautifully proportioned pyramidal peak, crowned with stark white granite, changes in appearance when viewed from different angles. You can also admire it from afar through the window of a JR Chuo Line train or a car on the Chuo Expressway. The route featured here begins in the Ojiragawa Valley on the Yamanashi side of the mountain. The hike includes the Kuroto-one ridge, a course rich in history which is ranked among the three toughest in Japan.

Set off from the trailhead at the Ojiragawa Valley parking area. You will soon come to the Chikuu-komagatake-jinja Shrine where you can offer prayers for safe passage through the mountains before you begin. Walk across the suspension bridge to the other side of the Ojiragawa Valley, and hike up a steep zigzagging path, over a surface of small loose rocks, through a conifer belt.

After about 2 and a half hours of hiking from the Ojiragawa parking area, you will reach a point where the trail converges with another trail starting at the Yokote-komagatake-jinja Shrine. You will then pass through a gentle, bamboo grass-covered segment of trail called Sasano-taira. From here, the trail turns steep and continues up through a mossy old-growth forest.

Continue beyond the Maebyobuno-kashira peak to reach a steep, exposed ridgeline known as Hawatari (literally, “crossing over the blade”). Grasp the regulation chains, attached with piles to the rock face, and take special care as you negotiate this segment of ridge. Once you have passed the Hawatari, continue on through an exposed stretch of ridgeline where no chain is equipped and then work your way through a succession of ladders and chains. After about 2 hours of hiking from Sasano-taira, you will arrive at Toritengu where a small shrine stands.

Pass through a forest belt along a path traversing the right slope of Mt. Kuroto (Kuroto-yama) and down into the col known as “the Fifth Station.” In the latter half of the 19th century, there was a mountain hut at this location, but it was torn down and now only a relief remains in its place.

From the Fifth Station, continue on through another forest belt, negotiating a succession of ladders and chains along the way. Cross the bridge spanning the col and proceed up an even steeper segment of trail. From here, you will climb ladders set up along the steep rock face and use chains to negotiate exposed areas along the ridge. After about 6 hours and a half of hiking from the start point at Ojiragawa Valley parking area, you will arrive at the Seventh Station where the Shichijo-goya mountain hut is located. You will spend the night here.

At the start of the next day, climb up the ladder behind Shichijo-goya and continue past the camping area and onto yet another series of ladders and chains. Hike up past the treeline and into a rock pine belt. After about an hour of hiking from Shichijo-goya, you will reach the Eighth Station, Goraigoba, with its excellent observation point.
From this point, use the artificial handholds and chains to negotiate the rockface, and climb up to reach the Ninth Station where you will see a massive rock with two swords stuck in it.

From the Ninth Station, the trail becomes a gentler path through a rock pine belt. Pass the west peak where the Komagatake-jinja Honja (main mountaintop shrine) is located and continue on toward the summit. After about 2 and a half hours of hiking from Shichijo-goya, you will reach the summit area of Mt. Kaikomagatake, where the Komagatake-jinja Okumiya (inner shrine) is located.

Repeat your hike in reverse to descend back to your starting point.

Other Info

Mt. Kaikomagatake is regarded as a sacred mountain and revered as an object of worship. From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, a devotional organization called Komagatake-ko undertook mountain excursions for purposes of worship and ascetic practices.There are many shrines on and around the mountain, including Yokote-komagatake-jinja Shrine and Chikuu-komagatake-jnja Shrine in the foothills and Komagatake-jinja Okumiya on the mountaintop. With many other sites of Shinto devotion like the small shrine, steles, and swords on Kuroto-one ridge, you can really feel the history of religious observation in the area. High Season:July to September

Notes

Due to the danger of falling from the trail or being struck by falling rocks along Mt. Kaikomagatake’s ridgeline, the use of a helmet is strongly recommended. Although mountain huts at Kitazawa-toge Pass on the Nagano prefecture side of the mountain provide equipment rentals for a fee, it is recommended to prepare equipment yourself when hiking the route featured here. For this reason, you should prepare all necessary equipment ahead of time.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
2Days / 14.5Hours
Highest Point
2967m(Mt. Kaikomagatake)
Elevation Gain
2190m
Horizontal Distance
17.1Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Shichijo-goya

Eating

Roadside Station Hakushu

Hot-Springs

Ojirano-yu

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Access

This route is located in the western part of Yamanashi prefecture. From Tokyo station take the JR Chuo Line to Shinjuku station and transfer to a JR Chuo Line express train (approx. 15 minutes). From Shinjuku station, travel to Kobuchizawa station (approx. 2 hours).
From Kobuchizawa station, take a taxi to the Ojiragawa Valley trailhead (approx. 30 minutes).

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