The awesome peaks of Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳), elev. 3033m, and Mt.
(甲斐駒ヶ岳), elev. 2967m, in the
northern section of the Southern Japan Alps (南アルプス) are two of
mountains I mentioned on my Mt.
Suisho-dake/Mt. Washiba-dake page that
you can climb in tandem.
Although unlike the other couplet peaks among Japan's highest
mountains, the trailhead at Kitazawa-toge (北沢峠) is between the two
peaks, so you have to hike all the way back down to the bottom before
you can hike up to the top of the other one. But they're both pretty
easy, so it doesn't really matter much.
If you're only going to do these two main peaks as I did, rather than
tackling other prominent peaks in the immediate area, such as Mt.
Nokogiri-dake (鋸岳), Mt.
Kita-dake, or Mt. Ho-o-sanzan (鳳凰三山), I'm not
whether there is any particular strategy on which of the two peaks you
Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and its trademark cirque,
as seen from the Mt. Ko-senjo-ga-take (小仙丈ヶ岳) summit
In my case, I chose to climb Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) first, so I
could stay overnight at the Sensui-goya (仙水小屋) mountain hut,
about 45 min. along the Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake (甲斐駒ヶ岳) trail
Another option that many hikers choose, is to stay at one of the
mountain huts at or near the Kitazawa-toge (北沢峠) trailhead, including Choei-so (長衛荘), Kitazawa-koma-sen-goya (北沢駒仙小屋),
or Ohira-sanso (小平山荘).
This way you can park your heavy gear at the hut and climb both peaks
with a light day pack.
One of the things I like
best about the Southern Japan Alps
(南アルプス) is their proximity to Tokyo. Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and Mt.
(甲斐駒ヶ岳), the 18th & 24th highest mountains in
Japan, were another set of
peaks that I did in only
two days. During my Obon holidays, I left Shinjuku just before midnight
on Monday, August 11,
arrived back in Shinjuku around 6:30 pm two days later on August 13.
Day 1 – Tues. August 12, 1997
arriving at JR Kofu Station, I caught a 3:00 am bus for
Hirogawara where after arriving there, I transferred a couple of hours
later @ 6:50 am to a microbus
me 25 min. to the Kitazawa-toge (北沢峠) trailhead. After hitting the
approximate three-hour trek to the summit of Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳)
first pass through a very dense forest before reaching a fork in the
Go-go-me (五合目, Fifth Stage), the theoretical halfway point.
right fork will take around 30 minutes longer to the Mt. Senjo-ga-take
summit, but also has three mountain huts along the
way, in case you would need to seek refuge or are looking for a place
to stay. In
ascending order, these mountain huts are Senjo-yabusawa-goya (仙丈薮沢小屋), Uma-no-se-hyutte
(馬の背ヒュッテ, "Horseback Hut"),
& Senjo-goya (仙丈小屋).
my case, I chose the left fork, both up and down. By the
time you reach Mt. Ko-senjo-ga-take (小仙丈ヶ岳),
you'll be above the tree line and will have some absolutely stunning
other peaks in the vicinity, including not only nearby Mt.
Kai-koma-ga-dake, but Mt.
Nokogiri-dake (鋸岳), Mt.
Kita-dake (北岳), Mt.
Ai-no-dake (間ノ岳), Mt.
Fuji (富士山), Ho-o-sanzan (鳳凰三山),
and on a clear day, even the Central Japan Alps (中
央アルプス) & Northern
Japan Alps (北
There is also a 3rd trail to the Mt. Senjo-ga-take
(仙丈ヶ岳) summit, starting from near the
Ohira-sanso (小平山荘) mountain hut, which is known as the Yabusawa Route
and shown as a blue line on this map.
After hiking back down to
the Kitazawa-toge (北沢峠) trailhead, I
trekked 45 min. or so over to the Sensui-goya (仙水小屋) mountain
hut, my sleeping spot for
the end of Day 1, arriving there around 3 pm. This
mountain hut was one
of the more interesting parts of my trip, where I easily made many new
getting lots of special attention from being the only gaijin in the
My new friends @ the Sensui-goya (仙水小屋) mountain hut
To be honest, this is one
of the many reasons I enjoy living
in Japan so much. Because here I am frequently made to feel special,
daily basis, I in effect often feel like a big fish in a small pond,
than just a small fish in a big pond…..which is the way
I'm usually treated back in my
Sensui-goya (仙水小屋) mountain hut was pretty small,
sleeping only about 30, but I was impressed with their solar stove, and
couple of the guys staying there were artists. One fellow was a
painter and another was a profile sketch artist, pics of both which are
photo album below.
Day 2 – Wed. August 13, 1997
my hiking at 5:15 am, from the Sensui-goya (仙水小屋) mountain
hut to the summit of Mt.
Kai-koma-ga-dake, Japan's 24th highest peak, was not too difficult a
albeit a tad steep, passing Sensui-toge
& Mt. Komatsumine (駒津峰)
along the way. Again, like
Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳), the views from the summit
of Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake (甲斐駒ヶ岳) were to die for.
mandatory slight detour near the summit of Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake
(甲斐駒ヶ岳) is its sidekick
subpeak, a large granite outcropping just below it & to the
as Marishiten (摩利支天, from
in Sanskrit), named after a 3-headed, 6-armed female warrior goddess
different weapon in each hand & riding on the back of a boar.
Check out the
picture of the very impressive Marishiten (摩利支天) monument
there in my photo album below.
Mt. Kai-koma-ga-take (甲斐駒ヶ岳) and its subpeak,
Marishiten (摩利支天) (photo courtesy: Wikipedia)
trek back down to the Kitazawa-toge (北沢峠) trailhead was fairly
uneventful, albeit SO beautiful, passing Mt. Komatsumine (駒津峰)
once again as well as Mt.
I caught the 13:10 microbus back to Hirogawara and shared a taxi back
Kofu Station. Catching an express train there around 3:30 pm allowed me
arrive back at JR Shinjuku Station in Tokyo by 6:30 pm.
My Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳)
and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake
The pics in the collage below are a sampling of my Senjo/Kai-koma photo
album hosted at Flickr. Clicking on
will open up the album on a separate page, or you can
view the entire set sequentially in the slideshow player below. I hope
you enjoy them !
above to view a slideshow of my Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳)
and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake
Aug. 12-13, 1997.
(View all pics at a glance here.)
My Google Map of Mt. Senjo-ga-take
In Oct. 2009 I created the customized map below, as I thought it'd be
cool to see all of Japan's 25 highest mountains at a glance. Google
Maps recently added the Google Earth feature to their maps, which
offers a very impressive 3D view if you have Google Earth installed on
Using GE's tilt & rotate features, you can actually fly around
Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) &
(甲斐駒ヶ岳) as if you
were in an airplane:
Note: I followed the above route almost exactly,
except that I climbed
Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) first.
One of the best ways to get to JR Kofu Station (甲府駅) is to take the
Azusa limited express train from Shinjuku Station (新宿駅), which only
about an hour and a half. The westbound JR express train Shinjuku to
are here (timetables for eastbound JR
express trains back to Shinjuku are here). Also, there are obviously
slower and cheaper ways to get there on JR's Chuo Line. More info in
English is available from JR East at (050) 2016–1603, 10:00 to 18:00,
every day of the year except during the year-end/new year
holidays (generally Dec. 30 thru Jan. 3).
From JR Kofu Station, it takes about two hours by bus or taxi to reach
the Hirogawara (広河原) trailhead. And then it's only another 25-minute
bus ride from there to the trailhead at Kitazawa-toge (北沢峠). This makes
Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake
without question some of the most easily accessible peaks from
Bus transportation is available via Yamanashi
Kotsu (Tel: 0552-23-0821, Japanese),
which provides varying levels of service from Kofu Station &
the Ashiyasu municipal parking area (市営芦安駐車場) to
Hirogawara (広河原) between June and
November. For the 2012 climbing season, buses run from 6/25
11/9 and cost ¥1900 for the 1-way trip. Bus service is also available
from Minobu Station (身延駅). Bus schedules are posted on their website only during climbing season.
Private cars are restricted on the road to Hirogawara (広河原) during this
6/25-11/9 time period, but 650 free spaces are available at
the Ashiyasu parking area along the bus route from Kofu
and 100 free spaces are available at the Narada (奈良田) parking
along the bus route from Minobu Station (身延駅).
From those parking
service to Hirogawara (広河原) is available, also from Yamanashi Kotsu. It
takes an hour and a half
bus from Narada to Minobu Station, and then another hour and 20 min.
from there to
JR Kofu Station.
If you have any extra time to kill after your hike and don't need to
rush back home, I highly recommend that you soothe
your muscles in a nice hot spring
rotemburo in the Yumura Spa area, a 10-minute bus
ride from JR Kofu Station. And it'll only dent your pocketbook by
¥700 or so.
Kofu is a very historic city, known as the home of Takeda Shingen, one
of Japan's most powerful 16th-century warlords. And because about 30%
Japan’s carved jewelry is produced in the area, Kofu is known as
Japan's most famous jewelry city.
Kofu is also home to Hidetoshi Nakata, the world-famous soccer player
who last played in the Premier League and retired following the 2006
World Cup, and Naoko Takeuchi, creator of "Sailor Moon" and other
My Aug. 12-13, 1997 climb of Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳)
and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake
the Southern Japan Alps (南アルプス) was an awesome hiking trip. From these
hiking trails, the views
of the other several nearby peaks are arguably some of the
most spectacular you'll
ever see anywhere in Japan.
The only drawback about
hiking during the busy Obon holidays in Japan, though, is you
are certain to encounter crowded conditions on the trails & in
the huts. But I guess that comes with the
territory, since Hirogawara (広河原) is not
only the main access route to Mt. Kita-dake (北岳), Japan’s 2nd highest
but also the most popular base
climbing the magnificent Southern Japan Alps
By the way, if you're in the market for any outdoor gear,
including packs, tents, sleeping bags, jackets, etc., you may wish to check out my new
Great Outdoor Gear Deals page! There you will find access to some of the web's best
real-time deals on outdoor gear from a few of the best outdoor retailers in the industry.
All the retailers shown there offer free shipping, and if you decide to purchase, a portion of all proceeds directly benefit Garyjwolff.com, and help fund future site improvements. Thank you!
I hope you found this page informative & do please stop by
again soon, as
I intend to update it with more
details in the future on climbing Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and
the Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake
(甲斐駒ヶ岳), including a record of my climbing schedule and
In the meantime, if you have any quick questions for me, feel
free to give me a shout
by posting them in the "Add your comment" section below or by clicking
on the "Contact Me" link at the top right of this page. Or if you'd
share your climbing story & pics with other climbers, feel free
to do so in the "Have a Question or Story...?" section
And if you are lucky enough to
hike up either of these awesome peaks, I wish you my most heartfelt
luck. GO FOR IT !!
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