Autumn leaves hiking at Mt. Norikura-dake with a fantastic view
Norikura Plateau Information Center～ascend by bus～Houtoku Reijin bus stop～descend by hiking～Kuraigahara-sanso Mountain Hut～Marishiten bus stop ~ descend by bus～Norikura Plateau Information Center
3 hours from Houtoku Reijin to Marishiten bus stop
The autumn leaves is the best season for this route is (late September)
Norikura Plateau Information Center bus stop
↓ 40 minutes（bus）
Houtoku Reijin bus stop
↓ 90 minutes
Kuraigahara-sanso Mountain Hut
↓ 50 minutes
Marishiten bus stop
↓ 30 minutes（bus）
Norikura Plateau Information Center
Even during the autumn leaves season, most of hikers use the Norikura-dake shuttle to Tatami-daira and climb to Kenga-mine. However, the point above Tatami-daira is higher than a 2,700 M elevation and passes the tree line, which gives you only a view of looking down on autumn leaves. The viewing point of the autumn leaves of Mt. Norikura-dake is along the original trail, where most people do not hike due to the use of the shuttle bus. This trail connects from Norikura Plateau to Kenga-mine.
An especially phenomenal a view is from the ridgeline on the north slope near 2,400 m, connecting from Kuraigahara-sanso Mountain Hut to Houtoku Reijin. If you would prefer an eary hike, take Norikura shuttle bus to Houtoku Reijien at the high altitude, then descend to Kuraigahara-sanso Mountain Hut. From the descending route, a fantastic view can be enjoyed. It takes about 90 minutes at max. Variance in elevation is about 200 M, however, it is a mountain trail and some parts are rocky or hard to walk on. Therefore hiking shoes needed to be worn. The peak of Autumn leaves around 2,400 M is late September. The color changing will be over in early October for this area.
It is also a good idea to enjoy a view of Mt. Norikura-dake while sipping a hot drink at Kuraigara-sanso Mountain Hut. If you are confident in your physical strength, it is also recommended to ascend to Reisen koya Mountain hut (additional 15 minutes from Kuraigahara sanso Mountain hut) or Marishiten bus stop (additional 35 minutes from Reisen koya Mountain Hut) by a trail or a walk along Eco line. This section has a fantastic view of Autumn leaves, which gives “AWWW” to even bus riders. For an inbound route of this course, it is recommended to use a bus from Marishiten bus stop, however, if you are confident in your stamina, you may hike to Sanbon falls, the biggest fall in Norikura Plateau.