Highlights & Hiking Trails
The North Alps boast some of the Japan’s highest mountains, several of which can be reached from the three trailheads – Nakakbusa / Ichinosawa / Mitsumata – at Azumino , including:
Mount Tsubakuro / 2763 metres
Often referred to as the ‘Queen of the North Alps’, Mt, Tsubakuro stands 2763 metres above sea level and is an enjoyable overnight hike for anyone of reasonable fitness (or a single day hike if you are fit and have some experience). Its affectionate naming as the Queen of the North Alps reflects its beauty, elegance and picturesque fields of alpine flowers that bloom above white granite sand. While some parts of the ascent are steep, trails are well-maintained making it a popular climb for beginner and intermediate hikers.
Mount Jonen / 2857 metres
The distinctive pyramid shape of Mt Jonen make is an impressive sight from the valley below with the name said to come from the shape of the mountain, which reminds some people of a monk in prayer. The climb to the summit is harder than that to the top of Mt Tsubakuro and can be attempted from either the Ichinosawa or Mitsumata trailhead, with the hike from Ichinosawa being the easier to attempt.
Mount Chogatake / 2677 metres
The lowest of the three peaks listed, Mt Chogatake offers outstanding views of the notably higher Mt Hotaka and Mt Yari – both standing over 3000 metres in height and Japan’s second and third highest mountains respectively. Mt Chogatake can be reached via the Mitsumata trailhead and is yet another very popular hike suitable to anyone of reasonable fitness including beginner.s
From Azumino, three trailheads give access to some of the region’s best walks including:
Mt Tsubakuro 2763m / 2 day walk / 1 night inc. stay at Enzansou Mountain Hut
Starting at the Nakabusa Trailhead (1462m), the walk takes you along the Kassen Ridge – a trail ascending 1250 metres and considered one of the steepest climbs in the Alps. The trail is well-maintained and suitable for beginner and intermediate hikers.
Leading to the Enzansou Mountain Hut (pictured above) you can check-in before the final push to the summit at 2763 metres, returning to the hut for the night. In total, day one requires around 5 hours of walking before the descent on day two takes around 2 hours and 40 minutes from Enzansou Mountain Hut back to Nakabusa Trailhead.