Hiking Distance: 9.8km
Time: 7-8 hrs
Elevation Gain: 950m
7 - 8 Hours
Mt. Shari is a magnificent mountain located between the Akan-Mashu and Shiretoko national parks. The trail features a stunning variety of terrain and views which include multiple river crossings, some mild rock climbing, beautiful forests and waterfalls, gorgeous ridgeline paths, and steep mountain peaks surrounded by picturesque farmland. Over half of the hike meanders up the river which requires careful footing or water shoes, and extra consideration regarding rainfall. There is a nice mountain hut at the entrance to the trail, the friendly manager speaks some English and also does regular trail maintenance. The return trail detours around a gorgeous ridgeline which adds more variety to the hike.
If you wish to stay at the trailhead mountain hut it's ¥2200 per night, or if you wish to sleep in your car it's ¥500. Under good conditions the hike is not too difficult, but the river trail adds some extra elements.
Note: There is no drinkable water at the hut so prepare your own or carry a filter.
Car: The trailhead is located at the Seigakusou mountain hut, parking here is free.
Train + Taxi: Without a car you will need to catch a taxi from Kiyosato train station - it will cost about ¥4000.
GPS map: outdooractive.com
Buy the Mt. Shari hiking map: Amazon
The hike starts off on a forest road but after about 15-20 mins you will enter the hiking trail and be surrounded by a beautiful forest. Pretty soon you will come to your first river crossing, these continue for about 30 mins and then change into steeper climbing and gorgeous waterfalls. There are a couple of challenging sections but if the weather is good then it shouldn't be a problem. However, if there has been a lot of rain the night before, then extra caution will be needed as the rivers could become swollen. This will also be an issue if rain is forecast during the hike.
It will take about 3-4 hours to reach the peak of Sharidake. Your return along the ridgeline trail will give you more stunning views to enjoy, although be aware the descent from the ridgeline is steep and taxing on your knees. Appropriate caution should also be taken for occasional bear encounters.
Weather and Seasons
The summer months of July and August are considered the best time for hiking Mt. Shari. Snowfall will typically occur from October to May, with autumn colours reaching their peak around the end of September.
Altitude & Weather