Mount Ontake Kodo Nature Worship Tour
Long considered sacred, Mount Ontake is Japan’s second tallest volcano – after Mount Fuji – and worshipped by adherents of the Shinto sect ‘Ontake Shinko’, with the most devoted practitioners walking the ‘Ontake Kodo’ pilgrimage trails that run through the forests and past waterways and waterfalls of the mountain. As such, walking the trails of the Kiso Ontake Mountain Range opens-up one of Central Japan’s most beautiful landscapes and takes you deep into the Japanese practice of nature worship.
This immersive day-tour takes you along one of the pilgrimage trails of Ontake, deep into the tradition of Japan’s nature worship. Starting at Kiso-Fukushima Station at 10:30 your guide will meet you and then accompany you by local bus to the start of near the summit of Ontake and one of its many mountain shrines Introducing the principles of Ontake Shinko and its veneration of the mountain, you will enjoy lunch in the area before beginning your ascent along forest trails past revered waterfalls, shrines and stelae.
The walk takes around 3 hours and is mostly downhill over mixed terrain and some raised walkways, suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness.
Arriving at the Omata Sansha shrine around 16:00, your guide will accompany on you a local bus back to Kiso-Fukushima Station, where they will stay their goodbyes and the tour concludes at 17:00.
At this time, booking enquiries can only be made through a Japanese website however this will soon be updated to include an English information and reservation form. For further tips and suggestions of things on offer in the area, see our ’25 Things to Do Around the Kiso Valley & Nakasendo’ page.
Please note, Mount Ontake is an active volcano and your personal safety should be your first priority. The Japan Meteorological Agency provides real-time advice and warnings for the entire country. Prior to visiting Ontake, we recommend checking the following website.