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Is the Nishi-hotaka-dake/Oku-hotaka-dake/Kara-sawa/Yokoo-sanso/Yari-ga-take route well marked?

by Mick

We are walking with our wives and intend to do a 4 day walk over Mt. Oku-hotaka-dake to Mt. Yari-ga-take via the alternate route through the Kara-sawa, then up the Yari-sawa to Mt. Yari-ga-take to avoid the Daikiretto.

I am looking at approaching Mt. Oku-hotaka-dake via the west side, taking the ropeway from Shin-Hodaka Onsen up to Nishi-Hodaka-guchi.

I tried to click on the link you have provided of the route map, but it only came up in Japanese. Is there an English version or can I buy a map from Amazon that is in English?

Can you advise if both the west side approach to Mt. Oku-hotaka-dake over Nishi-hotaka-dake is well marked and also if the alternate route from Oku-hotoka-dake through Kara-sawa to Yokoo-sanso is well marked?

I know this is not the purest route, but better to take the safe route than not go at all.

Mick Patrick

Comments for Is the Nishi-hotaka-dake/Oku-hotaka-dake/Kara-sawa/Yokoo-sanso/Yari-ga-take route well marked?

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Sep 17, 2015
by: Doris

Thank you for your (quick) reply, I've sent out request to join the group. Also thank you so much for all the information, it helped me a lot when making my own plan, absolutely great website!!

Sep 16, 2015
Lots of Kamikochi trekking info online
by: Gary Wolff

Dear anonymous,

I haven't climbed in that area for over 2 decades, but you might find some helpful info on these sites:

As for a hiking partner, it's always safer to hike with someone, so you might want to post your inquiry in Facebook's Hiking in Japan group referenced below.

Happy trails...

Sep 15, 2015
Okuhotaka & yarigadake
by: Anonymous

Hi Gary, thanks for info! I'm planning to do the hiking on this coming long weekend, will depart from kyoto, basically I have no real hiking experience (only climbed mt fuji, but seems the Japan alps is way more challenging), wondering whether it is too risky for me to hike okuhotaka or yarigadake, I was told that the trail to yakedake is easier, but seems it's not that amazing? Can you recommend a route, ideally one involves summit? Also, so far I found no company, but seems there will be lots of people on the way, so I guess going alone is ok? Thanks a lot again!

Aug 17, 2014
Climbing trails in the Japanese Alps are generally well-marked
by: Gary Wolff

Mick, I'm not aware of any English trail maps of that area, except for the small-scale one you'll find in Lonely Planet's "Hiking in Japan" paperback. You can also download a pdf version on the Lonely Planet website, or just the chapter you need (Chubu, pp. 105-155):

In general, trails in the Northern Japan Alps tend to be fairly well-marked with trail signs (in Japanese kanji) at all trail junctions, and little white circles painted on rocks (above the timberline), but if you get caught in an early snow or a fog rolls in (fairly common in summer in the Japan Alps, and referred to in Japanese as "gas") and you can no longer see the white circles, all bets are off. :-)

For further confirmation of trail conditions, you might wish to post your question in the "Hiking in Japan" Facebook group (, you'll need to join first) and see if anyone's taken that route recently.

Best wishes....

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