fbpx
    • Spring
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Into the Mystic

        While you probably won’t encounter an elusive river sprite in the highlands of the Northern Japan Alps, you may feel a bit lightheaded from the refreshing thin air, remarkable vistas and mystical aura of the mountains and valleys in Kamikochi.
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • Summer
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
        A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Autumn
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
    • Winter
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Shuzenji Sanctuary

        Nestled in the ...
    • Near Tokyo
      • Air it Out

        There is no bet...

        Ark Hills Marche

        Tucked away in ...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Summer Runs, Races & Tours

        Trail running is a great way to explore the beautiful nature of a country while getting away from the usual tourist spots.

        Tokyo Escapes: Summer Camping

        Tokyo summers can be stifling—luckily it’s easy to escape the city for a cool break from the heat.
    • Near Kyoto
      • A glass of beer from Kyoto Brewing

        Kampai! in Kansai

        Kansai has been...

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

        Cycling Awaichi

        “Awaichi” is sh...
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...

        Air it Out

        There is no bet...

        Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...
    • River and Lake
      • Air it Out

        There is no bet...
        video

        Niseko Untapped

        Niseko draws th...

        Minakami Mofest

        Head up to Japan's outdoor mecca of Minakami for the country's biggest outdoor adventure festival!
        video

        All-Season Outdoor Playgr...

        Enter the all-season world of Shinetsu Shinzekyo in Nagano and Niigata with outdoor professionals
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • video

        Mad About Pow

        A powder pocket...

        The Reemergence of Arai

        Lotte Arai Resort will definitely become a hotspot for western skiers and boarders over the next few years.

        Tohoku Storm Chasing

        Just a few hours north of Tokyo by Shinkansen (bullet train) await remote mountains and the countryside of Tohoku’s Akita and Iwate prefectures.
    • Travel
      • Gravity-Defying Farming in Nishi Awa

        Discover the centuries-old secret behind what keeps southern Japan's mountains growing

        Up Market in Osaka

        There wasn’t mu...

        Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
    • Food and Drinks
      • Gravity-Defying Farming in Nishi Awa

        Discover the centuries-old secret behind what keeps southern Japan's mountains growing

        Up Market in Osaka

        There wasn’t mu...

        Return to Palau

        I am sitting in...
    • Races and Events
      • Nature and History in Shonai

        One of Tohoku’s six prefectures is Yamagata, located just north of Niigata Prefecture along the coast. It's a hidden gem for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences and outdoor activities.

        Music Festival Guide 2018

        Warmer months mean awesome music festivals in Japan. Check out our favorite music festivals!

100 Famous Japanese Mountains: #59 Akaishi-dake

After a great 10-hour sleep in the empty hut on Taka-dake, my internal clock woke me at 4:30 a.m. as usual. The caretaker of the place was a grumpy, yoga-obsessed old man who had told me my Japanese would be good if I stopped using that young slang, but as it was, my Japanese sucked. Very inspiring he was, but he did let me dry out my wet gear using the gas stove and even managed a smile when I departed that morning.

Ginger on the summit of Arakawa-dake (3,141 meters) heading towads Akaishi-dake with Waseda Hiking Club members.

It was Day 6 of my solo trek through the South Alps. As it rained continuously the entire time on the trail, I had grown quite accustomed to wet boots and soaked raingear. Gusts kept visibility low throughout the morning.

Along the way, I ran into a group of guys from the Waseda University Hiking Club. They were laughing and genki, so I figured they hadn’t suffered too long but, to my surprise, they had been out in the mountains for about a week. Sharing snacks and joking about the great weather, we headed up toward Akaishi-dake.

We stopped in our tracks as the clouds suddenly cleared and the sun was bright and fierce. We were like a crazed band of cowboys, hooting and hollering and saying how we loved the South Alps. The guys joined in a chorus of the Waseda University theme song. That lasted for about three minutes, and then it clouded over and the rain came down…again.

Coming out of Akaishi Lodge the next morning, I noticed the gray clouds did not look promising. It was Day 7, the last day of the journey, and deep down I hoped for a fine view of the mountains.

By mid-morning the clouds had lifted and, at 2,000 meters, blue sky and green-covered mountains emerged. By 10 a.m., Fuji-san was standing proudly in front of me, clear and bold along with the South Alps now behind me. I sat down and savored the view I had been yearning for this entire week.

Trail Tips: The huts in the South Alps are generally open year-round, but food is not available during non-peak season (July-August). The huts are often crowded in the summer, so it is advisable to bring your own tent or make a reservation in advance. Also, water is often far from the lodges, and you may want to carry a three-to-five-liter water container so you will have plenty on the trail. Even in summer, the night temperature can fall below zero, so be prepared for the worst and bring lightweight wicking layers that dry easily but stay warm.

MOUNTAIN STATS

  • Mountain: Akaishi-dake
  • Difficulty Level: 3 out of 5
  • Location: Akaishi-dake lies on the border of Nagano and Shizuoka and is part of the Akaishi Mountains spreading over three prefectures.
  • Peak: 3,120 meters
  • Duration: 3-day hike, depending on route
  • When to go: July to September
  • Getting There: From Tokyo, take a Shinkansen to Shizuoka. From there, take a bus to Hatanagi Dam. Another bus will take you to the Sawara-shima Trailhead.
    (1 hr., 25 mins., 6,380)  (3 hrs., 35 mins., 2,550)   (1 hr., 750varies)
  • What to bring: Raingear, flashlight, map, camera, sunscreen, water, camera, gloves, sunglasses, warm hat, food supplies.

Contact Information

  • Shizuoka Chuo Taxi: (0542) 85-2191
  • Shizuoka Tourism: (0542) 54-2111
  • Tokai Forest Service Center: (0547) 46-4717
  • Sanpuku-toge Lodge: (0265) 39-2303
  • Takayamamura Lodge: (0547) 46-4717

Recommended Hiking Schedule

Day 1: 6 hrs., 45 mins.
Day 2: 11 hrs.
Day 3: 3 hrs., 35 mins.

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories