Any suggestions for approx. 3 day moderately difficult hike in July?
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Any suggestions for approx. 3 day moderately difficult hike in July?

by Bonnie
(New Zealand)

Hi Gary. We would like to do a 3 day (or slightly longer) hike in July. We hike quite a bit in New Zealand, since we live here, and we have done the Annapurna Base Camp, Machu Picchu (Inca trail), and Tour de Mont Blanc. We also plan to do Mt. Fuji while in Japan.

I like a challenge, however am not keen on too much technical hiking. I have looked at the circuit from Kamikochi to Mt. Oku-Hotaka, Karasawa, Tokugawa, and back to Kamikochi. This looks quite tough.

So started looking at Sarukura to Mt. Shirouma, thru the ice valley. This is dangerous as well, due to rockfall.

I am really stuck on ideas. I have the Cicerone book, however the maps are confusing.

What would you recommend? Thank you.

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Aug 25, 2019
Maybe still some snow in early July
by: Gary Wolff

No, Dad was not much of a hiker or an outdoorsman, but that worked out well for me, as it encouraged me to be active in scouting, and I was fortunate to not only attend a Boy Scout World Jamboree, but was able to attain the highest rank of Eagle Scout as well.

I've had many wonderful Kiwi friends & coworkers here in Tokyo thru the years, and around a decade ago, my daughter & her husband lived & worked on both the north & south islands of NZ, so I feel pretty tuned in to the exciting hiking there. Someday I'll do it!

I think Kita-dake is a good choice, but I’d be cautious about attempting it too early in July, as the left-hand trail up Okabasawa (大樺沢) Valley, like Fuji-san, is often covered by snow banks early in the month…

Aug 25, 2019
Kita-dake as option?
by: Anonymous

Hi. Thanks for your reply. I saw your comment on Kita-dake, looked at some YouTube clips, this looks like it could work.
Ps. I don’t suppose your father did any hiking while in NZ.
We have wonderful hiking here.

Aug 25, 2019
Kamikochi... hands down.
by: Gary Wolff

​Bonnie, ​​I don’t think you can go wrong hiking around Kamikochi. It’s one of my favorite places in Japan and there’s just something very special about the beauty and serenity of the whole area.

There are so many moderately difficult options there, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble carving out a suitable 3-day or more hiking course, plus you’ll avoid the rock fall hazards of hiking up Shirouma-dake's Daisekkei (大雪渓) big snow valley and the hassles of having to rent crampons there.

The only trail section I would stay away from in the Kamikochi area is the very dangerous Daikiretto.

Here are a few sites that might assist you in your Kamikochi hiking route planning:

Happy trails and thanks for visiting my site…


p.s. My dad was a famous softball pitcher who toured New Zealand back in the mid-70s as a member of a US All-Star team. You might enjoy reading his story here:

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