Mount Ontake Ropeway & Forest Hiking 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.
Take the chance to explore one of Central Japan’s most beautiful regions on a guided tour starting at Kiso-Fukushima Station at 08:40. Your guide will accompany you from the station to the Ontake Ropeway on which you will ascend to the Iimori Kogen / 7th Station, 2180 metres above sea level.
In the shadow of the summit, your guide will introduce you to the principles of Ontake Shinko and Japan’s long history of mountain worship before beginning your ascent down the mountain through the Aburai Birin Forest trails and past shrines, stelae and natural features of devotion.
Enjoying a traditional ‘bento’ (packed lunch along the way), the walk takes around 4 to 4.5 hours, is mostly downhill and is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness. Emerging from the forest, you will take a local bus with your guide back to Kiso-Fukushima. Once back at the station, your guide will say their goodbyes and the tour concludes around 16:15.
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.