Hike and Scramble in Japan's Northern Alps

Hike and scramble hut to hut in Kamikochi and Tateyama offer one of most spectacular mountain sceneries in Japan. Many long and short trails with steel ladders and chains will offer intense physical challenge and will reward you by incredible mountain and ridge views, and great food in huts. Carry only a daypack for multi-day journeys.

The Japanese Alps consists of three mountain ranges: the Hida mountains, the Kiso mountains and the Akashi mountains. These mountains contain some of the highest peaks over 3000 m. The highest mountains are Mt. Okuhotaka (3190 m) in Northern Alps and Mt. Kita (3193 m) in Southern Alps. Northern Alps rise near the border of Gifu, Nagano and Toyama prefectures, known as the Hida Mountains.  Kamikochi and Tateyama are popular resorts in Northern Alps and the area offers the most spectacular views.  From Kamikochi and Tateyama, there are many trails to the different mountains, and many huts are available along the trails and at the base of popular peaks. Mt. Yari and Mt.Tsurugi are the most popular destinations in Northern alps.

Hiking trails are maintained well, and steep hiking routes are protected by fixed chains and ladders in Japan.  In the U.S. we call these routes  “scrambles”. Some routes are more strenuous and difficult terrain than others and demand scramble skills.

In this trip, we will scramble one of the highest mountains, Mt. Okuhotaka and one of the more challenging mountains, Mt. Tsurugi, along with others. Traversing the 1.5-mile ridge from Mt. Okuhotaka to Mt. Nishihotaka will give you exciting and amazing scramble experiences. Scrambling to Mt Tsurugi in Tateyama will not disappoint you. Many huts are available there for those who enjoy hut to hut experiences. These huts have almost everything you need except showers. All huts serve Japanese meals and cold and hot drinks. Because of this, you only need to carry a daypack for multi-day journeys.

  • Suitable Activities: Global Adventures, Scrambling
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous 4, Technical 5
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 10
  • Maximum Party Size: 10
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12

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