Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and
Japan's 18th & 24th Highest Mountains
July 2, 2020 update:
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Mt. Kita-dake is officially closed
to hikers for the entire duration of the 2020 summer hiking season. The
huts are all closed, the prefectural forest roads to Hirogawara are
closed (even to bicycles & walking), and so the buses & taxis
will not run to the trailheads. Let's try again for 2021!
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 and 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"),
and 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) and 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 can be viewed in the map on this page.
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
(仙水峠) and 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 and 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 and 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. I hope
you enjoy them !
Click here to view all of my Mt. Senjo-ga-take
(仙丈ヶ岳) and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake
Aug. 12-13, 1997.
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.
Route Map & Elevation Profile
of Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳)
and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake
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 1.5-2 hours. 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
Bus transportation from Kofu Station is
available via Yamanashi Kotsu (Tel:
which provided varying levels of service to
Hirogawara between June 21 and November 4, 2019 (depending on the month
and day of week) for ¥1950 and the bus schedules (in Japanese) are here. [Due
to the current COVID-19 situation, Mt. Kita-dake is officially closed to hikers for
the entire duration of the 2020 summer hiking season. The huts are all
closed, the prefectural forest roads to Hirogawara are closed (even to
bicycles & walking), and so the buses & taxis will not run to
Private cars are restricted on the road to Hirogawara, but 515 spaces
are available near Ryuo
(竜王) Station (¥800/day) and 650 free spaces are available at
the Ashiyasu municipal parking area (市営芦安駐車場) along the bus route from
and 377 free spaces are available at the Narada (奈良田) parking
area near the Narada onsen trailhead for Mt. Notori-dake.
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
So if you have a few extra hours to kill in Kofu, besides the
springs, there are a number of fun things to see and do there,
including the Shosen Gorge, Takeda-jinja Shrine
(dedicated to the
famous warlord), and the Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art.
Please stop by again soon
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 and 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
I hope you found this page informative and 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 and 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!!
Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) summit 6-day weather forecast
Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) topo map (from the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan)
Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake (甲斐駒ヶ岳) summit 6-day weather forecast
Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake (甲斐駒ヶ岳) topo map (from the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan)
6-day weather forecast
Mt. Kita-dake route map (includes Mt. Senjo-ga-take/Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake) (1:50,000 hiking map part of the Yama-to-kogen
Fishing For Mountains - A very
gripping story of a spring climb of Mt.
Kai-koma-ga-dake by mountaineer extraordinaire Mr. Chris White
Have a Question or Story about Climbing Mt. Senjo-ga-take or Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake?
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