Mt. Hiuchi (火打山) to Mt. Myoko (妙高山)

Definitely difficult to plan logistics wise, and requires choosing one mountain over another (I had to let go of Mt. Yake). But if you have more time, definitely do more! 

Budget: JPY9,660 (~USD90)

  • JPY850. Train, Nagano Station to Myokokogen Station.
  • JPY1,000. Bus, Myokokogen Station to Sasagamine Bus Stop.
  • JPY1,000ish. Bus, Tsubame Onsen to Sekiyama Station.
  • JPY1,090. Sekiyama Station to Nagano Station. 
  • JPY6,000. Mountain hut reservation (optional) OR
  • JPY900. Camping fee
  • JPY4,820. Two days' worth allocated with Seishun 18 ticket. (if from Tokyo)

Hike Date / Difficulty 

  • Not yet done. 
  • Difficulty: 4 out of 5, probably. 
  • Route below is around 21.3kilometers, with an elevation change of ▲2,293m/ ▽2501m
  • Map Link

When to Go

Bus only runs from around July to October, so that is a limitation. Further, based on this blog, winter ascent is not recommended due to avalanches. 

Special Notes

  • I am putting the start at Nagano Station, as I plan to either take the overnight bus or take the train to Nagano the day before, and spend the night in Nagano. 
  • Trailhead. You can do the reverse as need be. 
    • Sasagamine (笹ヶ峰) Bus Stop. Close to Mt. Hiuchi. To get here, you have to take a bus from Myokokogen Station. The schedule for 2020 is here, but they create a new pdf every year, so just google search "妙高高原駅 笹ヶ峰 バス" and the first one that pops up is probably it. 
      • Train, Nagano Station to Myokokogen Station (妙高高原駅), JPY850, 44 minutes. 
      • Bus, Myokokogen to Sasagamine Bus Stop. JPY1,000, 50mins. Here's the bus schedule:
    • Tsubame Onsen (燕温泉) Bus Stop. Close to Mt. Myoko. To get here, you have to take a bus from Sekiyama Station. A new pdf and link is created every year, so just go to this link and click the one with this text:"関・燕温泉線".
      • Train, Nagano Station to Sekiyama Station (関山駅), JPY1,090, 58 minutes. 
      • Bus, Myokokogen to Sasagamine Bus Stop., 50mins. Here's the bus schedule. Highlighted in green is the Sekiyama Station to Tsubame Bus Stop schedule, and in yellow the Tsubame Bus stop to Sekiyama Station. The 6:14 train is only available on weekends.

  • Mountain huts. You are not really spoiled for choice here, and they also sell out fast. 
    • Paid mountain huts. There are two, and both of them have camping spots too. 
      • Koya-ike Hut (高谷池ヒュッテ). There's an English version, so just click the Koya Pond English Page. Take a look at the Japanese page though, as the vacancy status is shown there. If you see the green "個室満室", it means it's full.
        • It's JPY6,000 a night with no meals for a stay, or JPY900 if you're camping. 
        • Reservations are not needed if you are camping, but necessary otherwise. As of July 2020, I could only see one more day that's open for the next three months. 
      • Kurosawa-ike Hut (黒沢池ヒュッテ). No websites really, but I found information here, where it says they are closed for 2020 due to covid19. 
      • Otani Hut (大谷ヒュッテ)
    • Free mountain huts (emergency hut). One near Mt. Yake, which is about 3 hours away from Mt. Hiuchi, so it doesn't really count. Plus, it is not the best. Here's the picture I found off the internet (the blue, sad looking hut).

Itinerary

Saturday

  • 06:23am. Train, Nagano Station to Myokokogen Station. 
  • 07:07am. ETA: Myokokogen Station.
  • 07:20am. Bus, Myokokogen Station to Sasagamine Bus Stop.
  • 08:10am. ETA: Sasagamine Bus Stop. Start hike
  • 01:15pm. ETA: Mt. Hiuchi (火打山)
  • 02:30pm. ETA: Koya-ike Hut. Rest for the night. 

Sunday

  • 07:00am. Start hike.
  • 10:20am. ETA: Mt. Myoko (妙高山)
  • 01:25pm. ETA: Tsubame Onsen. Enjoy the onsen.
  • 02:30pm. Bus, Tsubame Onsen to Sekiyama Station.
  • 3:05pm. ETA: Sekiyama Station. 

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