Hiking Distance: 12km
Time: 7-8 hours
Elevation change: ➚1000m ➘1000m
➚ 950m ➘ 950m
Huts & Campsites
Tateyama (Mt. Tate) is located in Toyama prefecture, right on the border with Nagano. Tateyama refers to a collection of 3 peaks, with the highest peak called Onanji at 3015m. This route describes a loop hike over these 3 peaks and includes Mt. Bessan which has some of the most beautiful views. It can be completed as a day hike or an overnight hike at one of the mountain huts or campsites. It's also common to include the neighbouring peak of Mt. Tsurugi for a more adventurous hike full of chains, ladders, and rock climbing.
The mountain is known for its huge amount of winter snowfall, its active volcanic crater, its colourful autumn foliage, and has the highest natural onsen in Japan at 2410m. It is one of Japan's 3 holy mountains along with Mt Fuji and Mt Haku. In spring, from April to June, it becomes famous for its snow corridor - walls of snow that average around 15 meter highs.
Access to Murodo, where the hiking begins, is done by catching a cable car from Tateyama station and then a connecting bus. The roundtrip cost is approximately ¥4400 and online reservations are recommended to avoid long wait times. Tickets can be booked here.
Kyoto/Osaka: For Kyoto and Osaka, you'll need to reach Toyama station before catching the train to Tateyama station. The cheapest option is a direct bus, it take approximately 8 hours and you can make reservations here. It costs around ¥4700 - ¥7500.
Tokyo: Access from Tokyo is done via Nagano or Toyama station with the shinkansen or highway bus. Total cost including connections ranges from ¥8,000-15,000. You can view more details here.
From the bus stop at Murodo you will be hiking on fully paved trails toward Onanji, the peak of Tateyama. The quickest way is via the Ishinokoshi mountain hut and this will take a little over 2 hours. After Onanji you'll be hiking along the ridgeline toward Mt. Bessan, this will also take about 2 hours. After Onanji you'll be hiking along the ridgeline to the peak of Mt. Bessan, this will take about 2 hours. This is where the best views begin as you get amazing panoramas of the Tateyama volcanic crater and the neighbouring Mt. Tsurugi. From Mt. Bessan you will begin your descent back down via the Tsurugigozen mountain hut. Once you reach the hut it's important to stay on the ridgeline as this is the nicest trail. Continue along the ridgeline then head down toward the large campground, you can fill up your water here for free. It takes about 2 hours to reach the campground from Bessan.
From the campsite you will resume hiking on paved trails which are now meandering around active volcanic vents and gas clouds. After another hour you will reach the beautiful Mikuriga-ike pond and then arrive back to the bus stop.
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 July. The autumn leaves will be colourful from mid-September to mid-October.
Hiking Distance: 12 km
Time: 7-8 hrs
Elevation gain: 1000m