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木曽駒ケ岳

Mt. Kisokoma & The Senjojiki Cirque

Elevation: 2956m

Prefecture

Nagano

Routes Listed

2

Distance

4km - 10km

Elevation Gain

460m - 1000m

Time

4 Hrs - 9 Hrs

Accommodation

Huts, Hotels, & Tents

Overview

Mt. Kisokoma is the tallest mountain along the incredible Kiso Mountain Range, more commonly known as the Central Alps. It's a popular hiking destination due to the Komagatake Ropeway, which has the highest elevation of any ropeway in Japan, taking you up to 2600m. The area around the ropeway is known as the Senjojiki Cirque - a mountaintop basin sitting among dramatic rocky peaks, which is famous for its alpine flowers in the summer and its vibrant autumn foliage in September/October.

The most striking peak around Mt. Kisokoma and the Senjojiki Cirque is Mt. Hoken. This jagged, prominent peak is equipped with long chains to assist with steep rock climbing, which can be quite intimidating for those who are afraid of heights or lack experience with exposed terrain. However, it's a relatively short ascent that can be completed in about 10 minutes from the main trail.

Mt. Kisokoma is listed as one of the Hyakumeizan and is doable as a day hike from Tokyo. It only takes 4 hours as an out-and-back hike from the ropeway, however, it's highly recommended to include one of the neighbouring peaks as the unique terrain and stunning views are worth the extra time, it's also recommended to spend a night camping, staying in one of the mountain huts, or at the ropeway's hotel.

Access

Car

To control traffic, the ropeway is only accessible via the bus. But if you're using a car, you can park a bit closer to the ropeway by using this parking lot, from there the bus will only take 30 mins to get to the ropeway. It will cost ¥800 per day.

Ropeway Bus

The ropeway bus departs from Komagane Station and stops off at a few places along the way, including the Hayatoro Onsen and main parking lot. During summer and autumn, the earliest departure on weekends and holidays is:

Bus: 5am (6am on weekdays)

Ropeway: 6am (7am on weekdays)

Here's a link for the bus and ropeway timetable.

Kyoto and Osaka

The cheapest option from Kyoto and Osaka is the highway bus, which costs ¥5900 and takes 6 hours 40 mins (+ 1:40 from Osaka) to arrive at Okaya Station, you can make reservations here. Then you'll catch the train from Okaya to Komagane, which takes 1 hour 20 mins and costs ¥770.

Tokyo

The best option from Tokyo is a direct bus from Shinjuku, it costs about ¥4000 and takes 3 hours to arrive at Komagane, you can make reservations here. You could also catch the train to Okaya Station which takes a little over 2 hours, and then catch the local train to Komagane Station.

Weather  and  Seasons

The hiking season is from May to October, snow will hang around until June and begins falling again in mid-October. The summer weather is beautiful and about 10 degrees cooler than Tokyo. The autumn leaves reach their peak around the end of September and last until mid-October, which is also the busiest time of year.

Maps

Sleeping

The Senjojiki Hotel at the top of the ropeway happens to be the highest hotel in Japan, you can book rooms directly from their website here.

If you prefer camping or want to sleep in one of the mountain huts, there are a few options. Based on the reviews on Google Maps, the Hoken Sanso has a particularly rude owner, so it's best to avoid this one. However, the nearby Chojo Sanso is just 15 minutes away and has glowing reviews, it's also closer to the peak of Mt. Kisokoma, so it looks to be the best choice. Although, if you're staying on a busy weekend and want a less crowded experience, you might find fewer people at one of the other huts listed on the map.

If you're aiming for a day trip and want to catch the sunrise bus from Komagane Station to the Ropeway, the Komagane Green Hotel is right next to the station, you can book directly on their website here.

Useful links

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The hikes

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Trail Description

 Mt. Hoken & Mt Kisokoma 
Time: 4-5 Hours

Difficulty: 3/5

Distance: 4.5 km

Elev. Change:   ➘ 460m

GPS Map: outdooractive.com

The most common hike for Mt. Kisokoma is a relatively easy trail to the peak which only takes about 2 hrs, so it's easy for people of all ages and skill levels to spend half a day hiking at 3000 meters. But for those with more experience or simply looking for a more adventurous hike, then Mt. Hoken is essential. The peak of Mt. Hoken is jagged and exposed, featuring a collection of chains to assist with all the climbing. It really is the top highlight of all the Kisokoma peaks, however, you need to be comfortable with heights and risky terrain, and it should not be attempted in the rain. If you are unsure, take note that the side facing the Hoken Sanso mountain hut is easier than the opposite side, so it's quite common for people to tackle Mt. Hoken as an out-and-back detour along the way to Mt. Kisokoma. 

 The 4 Peaks of The Kisokoma Range 

Time: 1-2 Days (8-9 hours)

Difficulty: 4/5

Distance: 10.5km

Elev. Change:  ➚ ➘ 1000m

GPS Map: outdooractive.com

To get the absolute most out of a hiking trip to Mt. Kisokoma, the 4 peaks of the Kisokoma Mountain Range represent the best experience you could have with a full 8 hours of hiking. You'll be able to accomplish this if you're catching the sunrise bus or sleeping on the mountain. The terrain is amazing and the views over these mountains are diverse and beautiful. Recommendations for accommodation are either the Senjojiki Hotel or the Choso Sanso mountain hut, linked in the sections above.

Ropeway → ⏲ 2.5 hrs → Mt. Sannosawa → ⏲ 2 hrsMt. Hoken → ⏲ 40 mins → Choso Sanso 

Choso Sanso → ⏲ 15 minsMt. Kisokoma → ⏲ 1 hr → Mt. Inamae → ⏲ 1 hr → Ropeway

Elevation Profile

 Mt. Hoken & Mt. Kisokoma 

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The 4 Peaks of Kisokoma

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Cautions

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Altitude & Weather

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Bears (rare)

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Rock Climbing

Gallery

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Routes Listed: 2

Elev. gain: 460-1000m

Prefecture: Nagano

Time: 4-9 Hrs

Distance: 4-10 km

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