top of page
Panorama Ginza Kamikochi

大天井岳

The Panorama Ginza Trail

Elevation: 2922m

Prefecture

Nagano

Distance

35 km

Elevation Change

➚ 2700m    ➘ 2750m

Time

3-4 Days

Difficulty

4/5

Accommodation

Huts & Campsites

Overview

The Panorama Ginza Trail is one of the most visually spectacular multi-day hikes in Japan. Starting in either Kamikochi or Nakabusa Onsen (Azumino), you will spend 3+ days hiking up and down ridgelines with beautiful panoramic views. There are numerous mountain huts and campsites to choose from, although they can be crowded on weekends and holidays. The recommendation here is to start from Kamikochi as the terrain in this direction is more enjoyable, plus Nakabusa tends to be a lot less crowded and includes a nice onsen, so it's the perfect way to end your hike. The itinerary I've described here is for 3 days, but you can change it to a more leisurely 4 or 5 days by spending an extra night at one of the other mountain huts along the way.

Access

Car

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

Direct Bus

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

Accommodation

Unfortunately, most mountain huts only accept reservations over the phone. But if you're camping in a tent then a reservation is usually not required, unless it's on public holidays.

Mountain Huts

There is also some etiquette to follow for mountain huts in Japan, you can read a helpful overview here.

The cost to stay at the huts will vary, but the price is usually similar:

¥9000 - ¥10,000:    Bed without meals

¥11,000 - ¥14,000:  Bed with 1 or 2 meals (optional bento for hiking)

¥1000 - ¥2000:    Tent without meals

¥1500 - ¥2000:    Additional bento or dinner (some huts don't offer dinner for tent sites)

Kamikochi Hotels

It's quite common to also book a hotel in Kamikochi or Matsumoto. It's best to book early, you can usually find the best prices on booking.com.

Click here for accommodation in Kamikochi

Click here for accommodation in Matsumoto

Maps

GPS map: Day 1  Day 2  Day 3

Japanese Online Map: Yamap.com

Weather  and  Seasons

Summer and autumn, from July to October, are the best times for hiking in Kamikochi. There is likely to be snow hanging around until June. The rainy season occurs from June to mid-July. The autumn leaves will be colourful from late September to mid-October. Kamikochi is closed during winter, from November to April.

Useful links

Trail Description

Day 1.. 

Kamikochi to Chogatake Mountain Hut

Time: 6-8 hrs

Distance: 13km

Elevation change: ➚ 1200m gain    50m loss

Once you get off the bus at Kamikochi, you can pick up a map from the info centre and stock up on any supplies you may need, water is free here but you will have to pay for water at the mountain huts. From there walk toward the famous bridge and cross it to reach the mellow trail that takes you over the marsh ponds, eventually leading up the river toward Myojin Pond. You have to pay to enter Myojin Pond, which I don't recommend. From Myojin Pond you will cross another bridge and then head toward the Tokusawa campground, where the Mitsumata trailhead is located.

 

The time from the bus stop to the Mitsumata trailhead is about 1-2 hours and this is where the hike truly begins, it is a steep climb, but amazing views are waiting for you at the top. This section will take about 5-6 hours to reach the Mt. Chogatake mountain hut, set up camp here and enjoy some rest.

Day 2.. 

Chogatake to Daitenso Mountain Hut

Time: 8-9 hrs

Distance: 11km

Elevation change: ➚ 1100m gain    900m loss

Continue along the ridgeline towards Mt. Jonen while enjoying the incredible views of Mt. Yarigatake and Matsumoto, today is a big day as you'll be continuing all the way to Mt Daitenso, also known as Mt. Otensho. The climb up Mt Jonen is steep but fun, with big boulders and awesome views. Set up camp at Mt. Daitenso and get an early night for the next day, the sunrise from Daitenso is spectacular.

Day 3.. 

Daitenso to Tsubakuro & Nakabusa Onsen

Time: 6-8 hrs

Distance: 11km

Elevation change: ➚ 350m gain    1800m loss

The trail toward Mt. Tsubakuro begins from the Daitenso Mountain Hut, not from the Daitenso peak. You will head down into the mountains and eventually end up back on the ridgeline. Once you reach The Enzansou mountain hut you can either continue the short distance up to Mt. Tsubakuro or just head down to Nakabusa onsen, depending on the time. The bus from Nakabusa doesn't run late, 4:15pm is the last bus, so keep that in mind, it's also a great onsen if you want to have a bath before getting on the bus. The Enzansou mountain hut is one of the largest in the Northern Alps and a nice place to stay if you want to rest before the final descent.

Kamikochi hike

The view of Yarigatake from Daitenso

Elevation Profile

panorama ginza elevation.png

Cautions

icons8-clouds-96_edited.png

Altitude

Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 2.23.08 am.png

Rock climbing

monkey.png

Monkeys

bear.png

Bears (rare)

© Copyright

Gallery

Panorama Ginza Kamikochi

Difficulty: 4/5

Distance: 35km 

Time: 3-4 days

Elev. Change: ➚ ➘ 2750m

Prefecture: Nagano

Related Articles

Contribute to this article 

Do you have any nice photos from this hike?

Found some errors on this page?

Or want to submit a new hike to us?

Send us a message and become a contributor :)

writing_edited.png