Hike from Mt. Kintoki (金時山) to Mt. Myoujin (明神ヶ岳)

 

Hakone area has a predefined route - a route dictated by the Hakone Pass that I have taken twice. So I did not know that there was another hike that was highly accessible until I've heard of Mt. Kintoki. This is an area that is highly flexible depending on how heavy you want your hike to be, and definitely beginner friendly. 

Budget: JPY4,820 (~USD46)
  • JPY1,940. Bus, Shinjuku Bus Terminal > Trailhead 
  • JPY550. Bus, Miyogino-shishomae (宮城野支所前) to Hakone-Yumoto Station (箱根湯本駅)
  • JPY2,330. Train, Hakone-Yumoto Station to Shinjuku Station.
Hike Date / Difficulty 
  • November 8, 2020
  • Difficulty: 2 out of 5
  • Route below is around 10.9 kilometers, with an elevation change of ▲1,431m/ ▽1,340m
  • PDF Map Link

When to Go
Anytime during the year!

Special Notes
  • Weather check
  • Nothing technical on this hike - no drops, chain section, etc. Definitely a place to bring your family and newbie hiker friends. Or just take a nice stretch in the mountains. 
  • Trailhead. Quite a lot, but with blocked roads, there are two main areas that serve as the trailhead. 
    • Kintoku Trailhead (金時山登山口) and surrounding area. There is a collection of bus stops, which are all along the line of one bus line. Bus details are here, reservations here. JPY1,940 one way. 
Bus schedule, Shinjuku Bus Terminal (新宿バスターミナル) ⇒ Kintoku Trailhead (金時山登山口)

Bus schedule, Kintoku Trailhead (金時山登山口) ⇒ Shinjuku Bus Terminal (新宿バスターミナル)
    • Miyogino-shishomae (宮城野支所前). Close to Myojingatake (明神ヶ岳). Access as follows:
      • Train, Tokyo to Hakone-Yumoto Station.
      • Bus, Hakone-Yumoto Station (箱根湯本駅) to Miyogino-shishomae (宮城野支所前). JPY550, 16 minutes one way. Bus schedule here, return bus here
Bus schedule, Miyogino-shishomae (宮城野支所前) ⇒ Hakone-Yumoto Station (箱根湯本駅) 
  • Mountain huts.
    • Paid. None
    • Free. None
    • Camping. None. Wild camping is possible at the summit of Mt. Myoujin though. 
Itinerary - Plan
  • 06:35am. Bus, Shinjuku Bus Terminal to trailhead: 乙女峠
  • 08:40am. ETA: Trailhead乙女峠. 
  • 09:00am. Start hike.
  • 10:40am. ETA: Mt. Kintoki (金時山) summit. One hour lunch. 
  • 01:10pm. ETA: 火打石山 summit. 
  • 02:20pm. ETA: 明神ヶ岳 summit
  • 04:00pm. ETA: Trailhead. 宮城野支所前. Go to onsen. 
  • 05:05pm. Bus, 宮城野支所前 to Hakone Yumoto Station (箱根湯本駅). 
  • 05:21pm. ETA: Hakone Yumoto Station (箱根湯本駅). 
  • 05:27pm (or 06:10pm/06:39pm). Train, Hakone Yumoto Station to Shinjuku Station (JPY2,330, 1.5hours one way)
Actual Log
  • 06:35am. Bus, Shinjuku Bus Terminal to trailhead: 乙女峠
  • 08:40am. ETA: Trailhead乙女峠. 
  • 09:00am. Start hike.
  • 10:40am. ETA: Mt. Kintoki (金時山) summit. One hour lunch. 
  • 01:10pm. ETA: 火打石山 summit. 
  • 02:20pm. ETA: 明神ヶ岳 summit
  • 04:00pm. ETA: Trailhead. 宮城野支所前. Go to onsen. 
  • 05:05pm. Bus, 宮城野支所前 to Hakone Yumoto Station (箱根湯本駅). 
  • 05:21pm. ETA: Hakone Yumoto Station (箱根湯本駅). 
  • 05:27pm (or 06:10pm/06:39pm). Train, Hakone Yumoto Station to Shinjuku Station (JPY2,330, 1.5hours one way)
There is a direct bus to the trailhead of Mt. Kintoki, and the bus stop is an escalator outside Shinjuku Station (JR)'s New South Gate.

I checked the screens to check on where I should board. As a rule, I use the departure time to make it easier to see my bus. For that bus, my departure gate was B4. 

Arriving at the main trailhead - Kintokijinja-iriguchi (金時神社入口)

About ten meters next to the bus stop was this main entrance. Beautiful autumn colors welcomed me. Which also means that the place is going to be crowded. I simply followed the crowd (and the sign pointing to Mt. Kintoki)

Right next to the restroom was the turn to the trailhead. 

Just one path. Then I arrived at the shrine, though I kept left to keep on hiking. 

The initial trail up. 

Less than an hour in there were some sections where I can see the view. That smoking thing in the middle of the mountain is Owakudani, a consistently smoking stop in the Hakone Ropeways, and the main view for my hike (as Mt. Fuji was feeling shy that day)

The fork below the summit - left is a long ascent to Mt. Kintoki, right is a long descent down the valley in between Mt. Kintoki and Mt. Myoujin. 

Finally! The summit! With the most unique summit marker I've seen -  a reminder that this mountain was practically renamed because of a Japanese folklore. 

Ah, the very, very, VERY crowded summit. 

There were two shops too.  

Another summit marker, this time with an axe anyone can use as a prop. 

The cleanest restroom I've encountered in my hikes in Japan. The one restroom I didn't mind paying JPY100 for. 

There were plenty of signs saying poo and toilet paper (provided in side) goes to the back, while pee goes to the front. 

Back at the fork. I went straight because I wanted to do Mt. Myoujin too. 

It was a big descent. In front of me, visible in the next mountain is the trail up Mt. Myoujin. That is the ascent I have to do once I finish descending. 

Right before the fork is a flat spot wit a store (when I went it was closed). The turn was not so obvious and I wouldn't have had noticed it if not for the other hikes. Not to worry though, if you follow the trail, there'll be a sign at the official fork (yes, I checked). 

And so the hike to Mt. Myoujin begins. This is the default view, with two meter high bamboo (?) left and right. 

There was a little fork, but again, all well marked. 

While going up, I kept on looking back and there it is, the top of Mt. Kintoki! A little bit to the left, you can see the trail that I took going down. 

Ok, back to the bamboo trail. 

I realize that the view I saw going down Mt. Kintoki only showed half the trail to Mt. Myoujin, as the trail has changed, and soon enough I couldn't even see Mt. Kintoki anymore. 

The autumn foliage was nice and kept me company. 

Just some nice spots. I saw two couples picnic-ing in this area. 

Almost to the top of Mt Myoujin!

There was a little fork close to the summit, I turned right. 

The summit of Mt. Myoujin! Crowded, but not as crowded as Mt. Kintoki's. 

Mt. Myoujin's summit marker, with Owakudani as the background (the theme of this hike)

Continuing on. 

There were some forks immediately, I just kept looking at my map and stayed on the main path (right). 

Still staying one the main path (right)

Bamboo! (right?)

Soon I arrived at another fork, where I had the option of doing another mountain, or descending. As I wanted to be down with plenty of allowance given that sunset is before 5pm, I took the turn right to Miyagino. 

The lower I get, the brighter the colors. 

Arrived at civilization! But the trail is not over, from here on the trail is right next to a neighborhood. I simply went straight. 

Just kept straight, and tried to stop myself from peeking on people's houses. 

The end of the trail, turned left. From here on, google maps work. 

There is a distinct lack of signs here, but just look for one that says bus stop in Japanese : バス停

Like this. Again, google maps work. 

Finally got into the bus stop. 

Had dinner at a soba place overlooking the river. 

Long line to buy the ticket for the Romance Car. 

The express tickets. 

Waiting for the train. I've been here about three times now. This station is always crowded. 

The big comfy seats. Soon enough I was home! Yey!




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