Hiking time from Kamikochi to the Hotaka-dake-sanso
Hello Gary. Thank you for posting so much information about hiking in Japan. I'm a keen hiker and plan to do some hiking while I am in Japan. I have already done Fuji and now want to climb Mt. Hotaka and Mt. Yari next.
I was wondering if you remember how long it took to walk from Kamikochi to the hut on Mt. Hotaka. I will probably set out from Kamikochi at midday. Sunset is just after 7.00 pm. So that gives me just over 7 hours. Unfortunately, I cannot leave Kamikochi any earlier.
Thanks for your kind words. On Aug. 11, 1994 we left Kamikochi early morning (~8:30) and didn't arrive @ the Hotaka-dake-sanso (090-7869-0045) till after dark.
That 1700m elev. gain in only 8 km is probably one of the steepest trails in Japan. The elevation profile of the Mt. Oku-hotaka-dake/Mt. Yari-ga-take route makes my knees ache. :-)
Because mountain hut staff frown on your arriving late (especially if you plan on having dinner there), you might want to consider staying at the Dakesawa Hut.
That hut was destroyed by an avalanche in '06, but rebuilt last year on a very small scale, sleeping only 30. So you might want to call ahead (perhaps this weekend) to assure a sleeping spot, especially since you're planning to be there on a 3-day weekend.
Best wishes to you....
p.s. Although sunset there on July 8 is @ 19:08, because the days are already getting shorter, by mid-August sunset will be almost a half-hour earlier. Current weather conditions at the Mt. Oku-hotaka-dake summit can be found here.