fbpx
    • Spring
      • Eating Wild in Japan

        Eating Wild in Japan

        Winifred Bird's latest book is an introduction to the world of sansai (mountain vegetables) and foraging in Japan.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Northern Tohoku’s Top 5 Spring Hikes

        Chase the cherry blossoms north and enjoy five of Tohoku’s best hikes this spring.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Haga Farm Spring Glamping in Tochigi

        Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi opened in August 2020, and it has quickly become a popular escape for Tokyoites.
    • Summer
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Climbing Mt. Fuji Outdoor Japan

        Peaking in 2021: Climbing Mt. Fuji

        Thinking of climbing Mt. Fuji this summer? We talk to Mt. Fuji guides on best practices for scaling Japan's highest mountain.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endangered Wildcats

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Mountain Biking in Japan

        Guide Lines: Autumn Mountain Biking in Japan

        Check out these mountain biking parks throughout Japan.
    • Winter
      • Early Bird 2021-22 Japan Ski

        Early Bird Ski Deals for 2021-2022

        Don't miss out on these early bird season pass and lift package deals for Japan's ski resorts.

        Pacific Solo

        Preacher-tu...
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
        Outdoor Japan Shimoda

        Blue Waves and Black Ships in Shimoda

        Shimoda may be famous for its white sandy beaches and surfing, but it also played a major role in shaping the Japan we know today.
    • River and Lake
      • Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endanger...

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.
        Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkai...

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor A...

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
        video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi ...

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Early Bird 2021-22 Japan Ski

        Early Bird Ski Deals for 2021-2022

        Don't miss out on these early bird season pass and lift package deals for Japan's ski resorts.
    • Travel
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Matagi Akita Tohoku Sustainable Living

        Tracking Akita’s Matagi Hunters

        Akita in the northern Tohoku region is home to the Matagi, hunters who follow an ancient and sustainable way of hunting, foraging and life.
        Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
    • Races and Events
      • Yuji Hirayama Urban Base Camp

        Yuji Hirayama’s Urban Base Camp Opens in Shinj...

        One of Japan's top rock climbers Yuji Hirayama has opened Urban Base Camp, a new bouldering gym in the heart of Tokyo.
        Photo by Noriteru Ino

        2021 Summer Music Festivals in Japan

        Camp and listen to great music in the outdoors at these summer music festivals across Japan.
        Summer Events Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        2021 Fireworks Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these fireworks festivals held throughout Japan this summer and autumn.
        Summer Festivals in Japan

        2021 Summer Festivals in Japan

        Enjoy these traditional matsuri festivals throughout Japan this summer.

100 Famous Japanese Mountains: #82: Yarigatake

After seven hours of straight hiking, I can see the unmistakable spear-like peak of Yarigatake in sight. “Just a little more,” I think to myself. I take a break in front of Banryu’s cave. He is the Buddhist monk said to be the first to climb Mt. Yari and look deep inside. “Ganbare, you’re almost there,” echoes from the darkness.

When I reach the Yaridake Sanso, the re-furbished mountain hut below the peak, all I want to do is sleep. Clear skies persuade me to keep going as views of the mountain ranges in the distance are breathtaking, and blinding gusts can roll in without a moment’s warning. Half an hour on the top of Yari I spend drinking up the views and wondering what these mountains will look like tomorrow.

Trail Tips

Following the river along the Oku-kamikochi nature path, the trail is relatively flat and easy-going for the first day of the hike. You are literally making your way around the largest peaks and approaching Yarigatake from the southeast along the river. From Yarizawa Lodge on day two, the trail gets gradually steeper for about four hours, and the push to the top is another 30 minutes from Yari-dake Sanso. Some find the ladders to be intimidating, but they are not technical, though concentration is required as the trail is narrow and many others will be on it.

To get to the summit, you must ascend three steep ladders, narrow but sturdy. It’s a good idea to go as light as possible with a windbreaker to avoid getting dragged down by weight and crowds. From the summit of Yarigatake on a clear day, you’re in a sea of mountains as you sit atop the second highest mountain in the North Alps. Don’t miss the sunset from Yarigatake Sanso after dinner and the gnarly gusts that come rolling in as night approaches.

On the next day, the return is about a seven-hour hike, but downhill and super easy-going. Beware during peak season, or on August weekends, this route is often called “Ginza,” as it is notorious for crowds. If you have plenty of experience, stamina and a few extra days, a more challenging route back to Kamikochi is on the Dai-kireto, which can be somewhat technical and exhausting, with steep ladders and small ledges for which to look out—though the views are worth it.

Mountain Stats

Mountain: Yarigatake
Difficulty Level: 3 out of 5 (some steep ladder climbs) (can we do some little icon thing here)
Location: North Alps (Kita-Alps), Nagano Prefecture
Peak: 3,180 meters (5th tallest mountain in Japan)
Duration: 2 days / 3 nights
When to go: July – September
What to bring: Raingear, flashlight, map, camera, sunscreen, water (you can refill at huts along the way), camera, gloves, sunglasses, warm hat.

Getting Here

From Shinjuku, take the JR Tokyu Express to Matsumoto and transfer to Shin-shimajima by local train where you can catch a bus to Kamikochi.

Shinjuku → Matsumoto → Shin-shimajima → Kamikochi
(2 hours, 37 minutes; ¥6,910) → (31 minutes; ¥680) → (1 hour, 15 minutes; ¥3,500)

Things Not to Miss

Onsen (hot springs) at either Kamikochi Onsen Hotel or Shimizu Onsen Hotel in Kamikochi.

Contact Information

Yarizawa Lodge: (0263) 95-2626 (2 meals / 1 night stay ¥8,500)
Yaridake Sanso: (0263) 35-9707 (2 meals / 1 night stay ¥8,500)

Recommended Hiking Schedule

Day 1: 4 hours, 50 minutes (stay at Yarizawa Lodge)
Day 2: 5 hours, 20 minutes (stay at Yaridake Sanso)
Day 3: 7 hours 20 minutes (back to Kamikochi)

Ginger Vaughn began hiking the hyakumeizan in an effort to get to know Japan outside of Tokyo. She saw the mountains as a chance to experience the countryside and get to know the land and locals intimately. She plans to complete mountain #100 in early November of this year and will be the first foreign woman in Japan to finish the hyakumeizan. Her narrative about her hyakumeizan experience will be out in 2006.

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories