Is it possible to climb 5 Kamikochi mountain summits over 3000m in just 48 hours?
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Is it possible to climb 5 Kamikochi mountain summits over 3000m in just 48 hours?

by Nathan Bell
(London, UK)

Hi Gary,

First off, amazing article! Fantastic reading and loaded with content.

My name is Nathan Bell and I am from the UK. I am planning an expedition to Japan in October this year.

My goal is to cycle from Fukuoka to Sapporo, as well as taking on 5 mountain summits over 3000m in 5 days.

After reading this article it seems it would definitely be possible for me to climb 5 mountain summits over 3000m in 5 days, do you think it would be possible to take on this route in just 48 hours?

Also, I am planning on taking on this route in Mid October, would I need any specialist equipment at this time of the year? I don't have a large amount of experience in climbing but have a good level of fitness, and plan to complete Mountain Leader Training back in the UK this year.

Would you recommend getting a guide for the route or is it more than feasible to complete by oneself, it would mainly be navigational I am thinking for the guide purpose.

Is Kamikochi the closest place I would be able to get to in order to start the trek? I am debating whether to cycle to Kamikochi, or leave my bike with family in Tokyo and use Japan Rail Pass to get the Kamikochi, would you have any recommendations?

Regards
Nathan

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Feb 04, 2019
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Only if your name is Superman. :-)
by: Gary Wolff

​Thanks for​​ your kind words, Nathan.

Wow, I must say you’ve laid out quite an ambitious plan for yourself. But because I haven’t climbed in the Kamikochi area for nearly a quarter-century, I’m not sure you’ve come to the right place for advice. :-)

Whether you can do those 5 peaks in only 48 hours I guess depends on your physical conditioning, weather conditions, and just plain good luck. As for me, I'd never even think about doing it that quickly, even if it was physically possible, as I'd feel like I was missing out on being able to fully savor the stunning beauty of the region.

Also, I’ve never been a big fan of off-season climbing, and even though the mountain huts in the Kamikochi area are usually open till early November, you'll always stand a chance of encountering snowfall in October.

And personally, I'm not aware of any climbing guides for that area.

The only recommendation I would have for you is that you also post your inquiries in Facebook‘s "Hiking in Japan" group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/9872778764/) because those folks are very helpful and I do occasionally see posts there about the Kamikochi peaks.

As for transport questions, perhaps the Tokyo Tourist Info Center can help you: Tel. +81-3-3201-3331 (daily from 9:00 to 17:00)

Thanks for visiting my site and best wishes to you in October...

Cheers,
Gary



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