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 Yamanashi Prefecture, as its name implies (山 yama = mountain), offers multiple hikes for beginner or advanced hikers. The options almost seem endless! From Yamanashi’s mountains, one can enjoy an amazing view on the perfect shape of Mount Fuji, which I believe is a big selling point. Mount Mitsutōge (1786 m) is one of those summits that are well known for their beautiful panorama on Kawaguchiko lake and a breathtaking view on the highest peak of Japan.

We started our hike around 10 :30 am. The walk begins with a long section (about 30 minutes) over a concrete path.

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Down this path, at the entrance of the forest, the Daruma ishi stone, that has the shape of those traditional Japanese dolls that symbolize luck and perseverance, looks like it is greeting the walkers.

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Let’s start our climb up! The forest is dense and the treetops almost seem to touch the sky.

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The weather is cloudy but we are keeping our hopes up for the rest of the day!

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We were not able to see Fuji-san, but we encountered on our way lots of delicate flowers and mushrooms. 


 
Climbing up was not always easy, as we often had to step over big rocks and walk on steep slopes. After two hours, we reached the 88 statues of Jizo, the Buddhist deity who protects travelers and children. The statues almost looked like they were merging with the mist covering the forest, giving the place a mystical aura. 

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We decide to have our lunch break there, under the benevolent gaze of the multiple Jizo. We had brought a camp stove thanks to which we prepared some warm coffee. We did well, because the temperatures plummeted as we were going up!

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We met there a couple of hikers who told us that reaching the top took another hour at least. The afternoon had already begun, and we still had to climb down the mountain through the rocks; therefore we decided to turn back already in order to reach the bottom before dusk.

So we learnt two lessons from this hike : first of all, manage your time and start the hike early in the morning to avoid being surprised by dusk. And second of all, bring enough clothes, especially if the weather forecast is cloudy / and or humid. Indeed, even if it is still warm in Yamanashi around the end of September, Mount Mistutoge can easily take you by surprise!

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Even if we did not have the opportunity to enjoy a nice view on Mount Fuji, we enjoyed the breath of fresh air and the mysterious atmosphere of the forest surrounded with mist. And most of all, hiking is always fun in good company!

Until next time, we are publishing here some pictures taken by Tatsuro Sugimoto, a mountain guide who accompanied us during our hike to Mount Kinpu. We cannot wait to get our revenge on Mount Mitsutōge and finally gaze at Mount Fuji from its summit! 
 

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Credits: Tatsuro Sugimoto
 

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Credits: Tatsuro Sugimoto

Access information

The map below shows the different trails (see also the information page about Mitsutōge ( External link )) that lead to the top of the mountain.

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My team and I took path A that starts from Mitsutōge station, but we came all the way to Ikoinomori Parc (憩いの森) by car and started climbing up from there. Hikers who come by train will start from Mitsutōge station.

From Shinjuku, you can either take a bus bound for Yamanakako/Asahigaoka, get off at Chuo Nishikatsura and from there walk 10 minutes to Mitsutōge station (about 1h and 40 minutes), or take a limited express train to Otsuki, change for Fuji Kyuko line and get off at Mitsutōge station (about 2h).

Another option is to leave from Kawaguchiko station: take a bus bound for Tenkachaya and get off at “Mitsutōge Tozanguchi”. From there starts a shorter and relaxing course (about 1h and 40 minutes climbing up and down) that goes to the top. 
 

Published on

  • January 22, 2021

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