Hiking Yarigatake and Mt Fuji

This is an active tour that includes many walks and challenging treks up two mountains but also includes visits to several popular sites (6 days of walking and hiking). Many of the walking and hiking paths are well maintained. If you wish to skip the hike up Mt. Yari, please consult with your tour guide who will help you organize accommodation nearby or in Matsumoto (extra expense will be incurred).

The tour in brief is as follows;
• Start by exploring the ancient capital of Kyoto
• Walk a part of the Nakasendo Highway, one of the five cross country routes of the Edo period
• Climb the Japanese Matterhorn, Mt Yarigatake
• Climb Mt Fuji in time for the sunrise
• Relax at Lake Kawaguchi or explore the area for its local attractions
• Sleep in a traditional Japanese Ryokan
• End the trip in the Tokyo metropolis
• Travel will be arranged mostly by public transportation
* Duration: 13 days
* Starts: Kyoto, Japan
* Trip Category: Outdoor Activities >> Hiking & Camping




This is an active tour that includes many walks and challenging treks up two mountains but also includes visits to several popular sites (6 days of walking and hiking). Many of the walking and hiking paths are well maintained. If you wish to skip the hike up Mt. Yari, please consult with your tour guide who will help you organize accommodation nearby or in Matsumoto (extra expense will be incurred).

The tour in brief is as follows;
• Start by exploring the ancient capital of Kyoto
• Walk a part of the Nakasendo Highway, one of the five cross country routes of the Edo period
• Climb the Japanese Matterhorn, Mt Yarigatake
• Climb Mt Fuji in time for the sunrise
• Relax at Lake Kawaguchi or explore the area for its local attractions
• Sleep in a traditional Japanese Ryokan
• End the trip in the Tokyo metropolis
• Travel will be arranged mostly by public transportation

Itinerary

Day 1: Kyoto

Pass By: Venture, Taito Tokyo Prefecture
Welcome to Japan! On arrival at Kansai International Airport, you’ll need to make your way to the joining hotel. The remainder of the day is free and your guide will be available to advise the best place to begin your visit.

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight at Kyoto, 3-star hotel near the station, twin room base

Day 2: Free day to explore the delights of Kyoto, one of Japan’s ancient capitals

Stop At: Kyoto, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Kinki
Today we have the chance to explore this extraordinary city, perhaps visiting the famous Golden Temple of Kinkakuji, built in 1397 as a summer villa for the shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga and immortalised in Mishima Yukio’s novel, ‘The Golden Pavilion’. There will be time in the afternoon/evening for further sightseeing including a tour of Gion, Kyoto’s entertainment area, for Geisha-spotting, or resting back at the hotel. (Meals: B/-/-)

Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Kyoto, 3-star hotel near the station, twin room base

Day 3: Transfer by train to Nakasendo; walk a section of the ancient Nakasendo Way

Stop At: Nakasendo Tsumagojuku, Nagiso-machi, Kiso-gun 399-5302 Nagano Prefecture
We speed our way, by train, out of Kyoto to Nagoya. From Nagoya we transfer by local train/bus to Nagiso and on to Tsumago. Tsumago is situated on the Nakasendo (Central Mountain) Way, and is the best preserved of the many staging posts. This route was used during the Edo period – 1603-1868 – as a main trading route through the mountainous inland area, between the main centres of Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto. Today it is not possible to walk the whole route, but some sections have been conserved. We will trek a short 5-mile stretch from the village of Magome, down the Kiso Valley, to Tsumago. (Walking distance approx.. 8km) (Meals: B/-/D)

Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Dinner: traditional ryokan dinner
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Tsumago, Japanese style ryokan, twin room basis on a tatami mat

Day 4: Transfer to Kamikochi via Matsumoto; afternoon walk to Yarisawa

Pass By: Kamikochi, Kamikochi, Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Koshinetsu, Chubu
We transfer by road and rail to picturesque Kamikochi, via the city of Matsumoto. Our main luggage will be sent out in the morning from Tsumago to the hotel in Matsumoto where we are staying after the Yarigatake hike. Kamikochi (1500m) lies in the Chubu Sangaku National Park and is an excellent base for explorations into the North Japanese Alps. We set out for the Yarisawa mountain hut, a gentle afternoon walk (about 4 hours in duration) starting along the valley floor, through pine and birch forest, before crossing the river and climbing the Yarisawa Valley at which point the trail becomes steeper and rougher. Through the forest, we may be lucky enough to glimpse a sight of some of the resident Japanese macaques. The Yarigatake Trek should only be attempted by those in good shape, with strong legs and knees.
(Walking distance approx.. 14 km)

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner: Set menu at the mountain lodge
Accommodation included: Overnight at Kamikochi, mountain lodge

Day 5: Climb Mt Yari (3180m) and descend to Yarigatake Mountain Hut

Stop At: Yarigatake, Matsumoto Nagano Prefecture
Continuing up the increasingly steep and rocky Yarisawa Valley we ascend to the Yarigatake mountain hut, before the final pull up onto the summit of the Japanese Matterhorn – Mt. Yarigatake (Japan’s fifth highest peak – 3180m). Although this is not technical, there are sections where you will need to scramble over boulders and rocks and there are snowfields that we may need to cross. The short final leg up to the summit is a very steep and challenging scramble using chains and ladders with some exposure to a steep drop – this last stretch is entirely optional and we only recommend experienced scramblers attempt it. This is a popular spot for local hikers with (on a clear day) spectacular views, including Mt Fuji to the southeast. About 6-8 hours challenging hiking.
(Walking distance approx.. 6 km)

Duration: 6 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner: set menu at the mountain hut
Accommodation included: Overnight at Yarisawa Mountain hut

Day 6: Descend to Kamikochi, transfer to Matsumoto, and relax in a local hot spring or explore the magnificent Black Castle

Stop At: Matsumoto, Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Koshinetsu, Chubu
We begin the long and steep descent from Yarigatake mountain hut, back down to Kamikochi (about 8-10 hours hiking). This early morning descent can be cold and begins very steep over the broken ground but the views of verdant valleys are spectacular. From Kamikochi we transfer to Matsumoto
(approx. 8-10 hours hiking)
Duration: 10 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Matsumoto, western-style twin room basis

Day 7: Transfer from Matsumoto to Kawaguchi, at the base of Mt Fuji

Stop At: Fujiyoshida, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, Koshinetsu, Chubu
In the morning there is an opportunity, for those who wish, to visit the impressive Matsumoto Castle (optional). Founded in 1504, this castle, otherwise known as ‘Crow Castle’ due to its black color, is one of the two best preserved in Japan, most others having been destroyed following the Meiji Restoration. Its imposing six story donjon has been designated a national treasure. Moving on from Matsumoto we transfer to the town of Fujiyoshida, situated near Lake Kawaguchi, one of the five lakes of Mt Fuji. Mt Fuji is Japan’s highest peak at 3776m and attracts people from all over the world, to climb it. Its near-perfect volcanic cone has been celebrated by artists and photographers alike over many centuries, with perhaps the most famous representations coming in the form of Katsushika Hokusai’s ‘Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji’.
(5 hours train, 1-hour bus)
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Kawaguchiko

Day 8: Transfer to Station Five on Mt Fuji; climb slowly to Honhachigome – close to the summit of Mt Fuji

Stop At: Mount Fuji, Chubu
We transfer by road to Station Five (Go-gome), from where we start our trek, on a well-marked track up to Station Eight (Hachi-gome). The walk takes about 4-5 hours, but is hard work as you cross steep volcanic scree and cinder that shifts underfoot as you ascend.
(Walking distance approx.. 6 km)
Duration: 6 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Dinner: Set menu at mountain hut
Accommodation included: Overnight at a mountain hut in Mt. Fuji eight’s station

Day 9: An early start for sunrise at Japan’s highest point (3776m); descend and transfer to the nearby Lake Kawaguchi

Pass By: Mount Fuji, Chubu
An early morning start, as we set off before sunrise, for the summit of Mt Fuji. It is only in the last hundred years that people have been regularly climbing Mt Fuji; previously the mountain was considered so sacred that only pilgrims and priests were allowed to climb. The summit is not a single point, but a circular crater rim, and in ‘traditional’ Japanese style the top features a shrine, weather station, post office, and a noodle bar! After experiencing sunrise, we descend back down to our hotel in Fujiyoshida.
(Walking distance approx.. 8 km)

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Kawaguchiko

Day 10: Free day to relax and explore; optional hike to Mitsutoge

Pass By: Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum, 3077-20 Kawaguchi, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun 401-0304 Yamanashi Prefecture
A free day to explore and relax around the beautiful Fuji Five Lakes area. It is possible to visit Lake Sai, perhaps the quietest and least visited of the Five Lakes, or to take a short trip to Tenjo-zan where you often get a fabulous view of Lake Kawaguchi with Mt Fuji behind. Those who want to enjoy more walking can join the tour leader for an additional optional hike to Mitsutoge, a peak standing at 1786m which offers great views of Mt Fuji and Tokyo on a clear day.

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Kawaguchiko, 3-star hotel

Day 11: Morning transfer to Tokyo.

Stop At: Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Kanto
No visit to Japan would be complete without a trip to Tokyo. From Fujiyoshida we travel by bus, arriving around lunchtime in the capital. Situated on the banks of the Sumida River, by Tokyo Bay, Tokyo grew up out of the fishing village of Edo, becoming the centre of power in 1590. This afternoon is free to explore.
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Tokyo, at 3-star hotel

Day 12: Time to explore Tokyo, one of the world’s most spectacular capital cities

Stop At: Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Kanto
Today we have a free day to explore the delights of Tokyo. Making use of the city’s highly efficient tube system it is possible to visit the early morning fish market in Tsukiji and Asakusa’s lively temple of Senso-ji. The possibilities for evening entertainment are almost limitless with Tokyo’s nightlife as exciting as anywhere in Asia
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Overnight at Tokyo, at 3-star hotel

Day 13: Depart Tokyo

Pass By: Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Kanto
Tour ends after breakfast

Meals included:
• Breakfast
No accommodation included on this day.