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Difficulty: 4/5

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Hiking Distance: 26 km

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Time: 2 Days

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Elevation change: ➚1850m   ➘1850m

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Prefecture: Nagano

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Mt. Hotaka

穂高岳

Elevation: 3190m

Prefecture

Nagano

Distance

26 km

Elevation Change

➚ 1850m    1850m

Time

2 Days

Difficulty

4/5

Accomodation

Huts & Campgrounds

Overview

Mt. Hotaka, and the main peak Oku-Hotaka, is the 3rd highest mountain in Japan, reaching 3190m. It overlooks Kamikochi and has many different trails leading to the peak. It's position is perfect for a variety of multi-day hikes accessible from Kamikochi or Shinhotaka. This itinerary focuses on a beautiful 2 day loop hike from Kamikochi with one night camping at the Hotakadake mountain hut located near the peak. Mt. Hotaka is also part of the famous Yarigatake to Oku-Hotaka circuit, a 3 day hike which includes a technical ridgeline known as the daikiretto, you can read more about that hike here.

Access

Car: If using a car you'll also need to catch a bus from Sawando Parking Area (Closer to Matsumoto) or the Hirayu Parking Area, the bus will take about 30 minutes from the parking lot.

Direct Bus: For Kamikochi, there is a direct bus from Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo. You can view all the details and make reservations here. The price ranges from ¥10,000 to ¥13,000.

Cheapest Option: For Kyoto and Osaka, there is a direct bus to the Shinhotaka ropeway which can also be used to access the mountains in Kamikochi. You can make reservations here, it's only ¥7500.

Train + Bus: You can also come from Matsumoto Station or from Gifu prefecture's Takayama Station. The official Kamikochi website provides a detailed overview of all the travel times and options.

Note: Kamikochi is closed from 15th Nov to the end of April

Maps

GPS map: Day 1  Day 2 

Trail Description

Day 1

Kamikochi to Oku-Hotaka via Dakesawa

GPS Hiking Map: outdooractive.com

Time: 8-9 hrs

Distance: 8.5 km

Elevation change: ➚ 1800m gain    300m loss

From the bus stop at Kamikochi, you will have a nice leisurely walk along the river, cross the kappa bridge, and follow the map toward Dakesawa -  it will take about 2.5 hour to reach Dakesawa. This is where the climbing truly begins as you'll spend the next 2-3 hours hiking up toward the Mae-Hotaka peak. Once you reach the intersection for Mae-Hotaka you may be feeling very tired already, in that case you can save 50 mins if you skip it and just continue on toward Oku-Hotaka. After another 1.5 hours you'll reach the peak of Oku-Hotaka, and from here it's just 30 mins down to the Hotaka mountain hut where you'll be spending the night.

Day 2

Hotakadake hut to Karasawa and Kamikochi

GPS Hiking Map: outdooractive.com

Time: 6 hrs

Distance: 17.5 km

Elevation change: ➚ 50m gain    1550m loss

The return trail is nice and easy, a gradual descent into Karasawa and then a leisurely walk along the river to get back into Kamikochi.

Mt Hotaka hike

The trail on the way to Mt. Hotaka

Elevation Profile

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Weather  and  Seasons

Summer and autumn, from June to October, are the best times for this hike. There is likely to be snow hanging around until June. The autumn leaves will be colourful from mid-September to mid-October. Kamikochi is closed during winter, from November to April.

Useful links

Cautions

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Altitude

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Rock climbing

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Monkeys

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Bears (rare)

Gallery

© Copyright
Kamikochi hike

Difficulty: 4/5

Hiking Distance: 26 km 

Time: 2 days

Elevation gain: 1850m

Prefecture: Nagano

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