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Splitting the Goshiki-ga-hara-sansō to ​Yakushi-dake-sansō route into 2 legs?

by Anne and Hop

Gary, hello and thanks for the opportunity to ask a question (or two).

We are two 60-something Aussies (with solid long distance trekking at altitude / in alpine areas experience) heading into the Japanese Alps September this year. It's our first into the Alps, but our 3rd visit to Japan.

'Inspired' by the LP Hiking in Japan Guide (and also cautioned by it after an experience in Patagonia), we are grappling with a sensible itinerary from Murōdo to Kamikochi (exiting at Yaridake-sansō to avoid the Daikiretto - don't need to do that if we don't have to).

It's with interest I note your and another's comment that the route between Goshiki-ga-hara sansō and ​​Yakushi-dake-sansō is not a straightforward 8-10 hours.

This makes me think splitting the journey into two legs over two days (​​Goshiki-ga-hara-sansō - Sugo-nokoshi-goya, then on to ​​Yakuski-dake-sansō) might not be such a bad idea?

I'd welcome your thoughts? We have nothing to prove and would prefer to enjoy where we are, smell a few roses, take a few piccies and keep a bit in the tank?

As I see it, that would leave a 'less strenuous' day from Yakushi-dake-sansō to ​​Kurobegorō-goya, and the opportunity to split the next leg to Yari-dake-sansō into two and / or mop up a contingency day?

We then plan to head down to Kamikochi via Yari-sawa and I 'imagine' that is a do-able if lengthy downhill?

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated...and thank you for the information and links on your site. One of the biggest challenges is finding tempered information on hiking in Japan.

Best regards and happy trails,

Anne and Hop

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May 31, 2015
by: Anne and Hop

Gary, thanks for your quick response and apologies for my slow reply.

We are slowly piecing our journey together and looking forward to being back in Japan.

Anne & Hop

May 31, 2015
Makes sense to me!
by: Gary Wolff

Howdy, Anne. Good to hear from ya. Thanks for reaching out & for the kind words.

Yes, as one in the same age bracket as you & Hop, I always remember mom's wise words..."Gary, take time to smell the flowers." :-)

As for the route in question, this graph puts it all into the proper perspective:

Mousing over the elevation profile, you'll discover that the Sugo-norikoshi-goya (スゴ乗越小屋) (elev. 2370m) is actually lower than the Murodo (室堂) trailhead (elev. 2433m).

Yes, splitting up the journey into several legs makes a lot of sense to me. I think you'll enjoy the scenery much better that way & the mountain hut staff will appreciate you arriving mid to late afternoon. Sorry, I'm not familiar with the Kurobegorō section as I've never taken that route.

Have a great trip...


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