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
    • 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.
    • 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!
    • 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.
    • 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!
    • 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.
    • Travel
    • Food and Drinks
    • Races and Events

Winter Adventures at Takamine Highland

The Many-colored Splendor of Takamine

Fall comes quickly in the Takamine Highlands, spread out across the foot of Mt. Asama. October showcases the gorgeous yellows of the Japanese larch tree, and November provides hikers with a performance of slender falling leaves as they dance their way down to the foot paths.

While the highland features a variety of hiking courses, those who wish to take in the full grandeur of Mt. Asama are encouraged to take the “Kurofuyama” hiking course. Moving from the car path to a smaller trail carpeted with volcanic rock, you begin the ascent toward the peak of Mt. Kurofu, from which one can enjoy broad landscapes of the base of Mt. Asama and the layers of gathering clouds.

If you’re lucky, you may see a few antelope scaling the rocky ledges. Another option, starting at the lodge, is a refreshing hike with panoramic views stretching from the peaks of Mt. Asama to the Japan Alps and Yatsugatake.

No Gear? No Problem!

At 2,000 meters above sea level, Takamine is known for its consistently great powder snow and a variety of sports are available to enjoy it. Asama 2000 Ski Resort is on the bus route and services the mountain from mid-December to mid-April with summer hiking trials remaining in use for snowshoe enthusiasts who long for the scenic beauty of the highlands.

First-time cross-country skiers can make their way along the “Takamine Rindo Course,” while two other courses are available for more advanced skiers.

Guests of Takamine Hot Springs (see STAY) have access to free gear for all types of winter sports. In addition, the lodge offers free basic instruction during the day and a star-gazing party at night. I’ve spent many a wintry night at Takamine Hot Springs and made full use of their generosity. The winter weather is consistently cooperative, and sunny days can have you glistening in sweat. Washing off in the hot spring, followed by a cold beer in a warm, cozy room, is delightful.

ESSENTIALS

Rental Gear (Available at Takamine Hot Springs)

  • Snowshoes (modern and traditional)
  • Knee-high boots
  • Crampons
  • Hiking poles and cross-country skis (full set)

Free Lessons (for guests only)

  • Snowshoe hiking, 9 a.m.-noon (marshland and highland courses available)
  • Cross-Country Skiing, 9 a.m.-noon (Takamine Rindo Course)
  • Star Gazing: Meet at the Takamine Hot Spring entrance at 8 p.m. Binoculars and telescopes are available for an hour and a half. Slideshows run during inclement weather.

INFORMATION

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories