Hotaka Mountains (Highest peak Mt. Oku-hotaka-dake) hiking & climbing route

Nishi-hotaka-dake Route

Nishi-hotaka-guchi ~ Nishiho-sanso Mountain hut ~ Mt. Nishi-hotaka-dake ~ Nishiho-doppyou ~ Nishiho-sanso ~ Nishi-hotaka-guchi

Technical level: C
Physical strength level: 3
Difficulty level: ⛰️⛰️⛰️

This is a trail where you can enjoy hiking on the rocky ridgeline of Mt. Nishi-hotaka-dake.
This route climbs to the summit of Mt. Nishi-hotaka-dake with the use of a ropeway.
Climb up to Nishiho-doppyou first!

●Hiking Data

Schedule: One day
Walking Hours: 8 hours
(Up: 4 hours 40 minutes/Down: 3 hours 20 minutes)
Walking Distance: 7.7 km
Difference in elevation: 870 m

Nishi-hotaka-guchi

Elevation 2,156m

↓ 1 hour 30 minutes

Nishiho-sanso Mountain hut

Elevation 2,367m

↓ 1 hour 30 minutes

Nishiho-doppyou

Elevation 2,701m

↓ 1 hour 40 minutes

Mt. Nishihotaka-dake

Elevation 2,909m

↓ 1 hours 20 minutes

Nishiho-doppyou

Elevation 2,701m

↓ 1 hour

Nishiho-sanso Mountain hut

Elevation 2,367m

↓ 1 hour

Nishi-hotaka-guchi

Elevation 2,156m

Route Guide

This route starts at Shin-hotaka Onsen at an elevation of 1,090m. Take Shin-hotaka ropeway from the hot spring to Nishi-hotaka-guchi at an elevation of 2,156m. This is the starting point of this trail. The beginning of the trail is covered by a forest. As the elevation grows higher, the ridgeline of Mt. Nishi-hotaka-dake appears through the trees. The trail enters a Pinus Pumila zone when it becomes steep, where coniferous forests change to a forest of Betula Ermani and Rowan trees. Nishiho-sanso Mountain hut is reached where the forest zone ends. Many hikers might be resting on the terrace. Behind the hut, Mt. Yake-dake can be seen, the only active volcano in the Northern Japan Alps.

From the front of the hut, take a trail consisting of big rocks. From the ridgeline covered by Pinus Pumila, the pass you are going to walk on can be seen clearly. It is a fantastic view.
Continue hiking by taking a zigzag pattern. The base of Nishiho-doppyo will be reached after a climb on the left slope of the Hida side. A monument in memory of Matumoto-fukashi high school students who died from a lightening strike can be found here. Nishiho-doppyou will be reached at the end of a rocky steep slope. If you feel scared or uncomfortable with the uphill of Doppyou, it is safe to stop here and return to the hut.

From Nishiho-doppyo, the path continues, passing 13 peaks. The first peak is a pyramid peak. It is a slippery rocky zone from Doppyo so descend carefully. After proceeding about 30m, the ridgeline becomes very narrow with cliffs on both sides. The pyramid peak is reached after a few ups and downs on a knife edge. From this point, only the summit of Nishiho-doppyo can be spotted.

From the pyramid peak, the narrow and rocky ridgeline continues with ups and downs. Follow the marks on the rocks. After passing a long slope, there are small ups and downs and the trail continues to pass each peak. Four peaks will be passed while walking on a wider part of the trail, then three more peaks will be passed and two more peaks will be passed when the trail becomes narrow and rocky again. Finally Mt. Nishi-hotaka-dake will be reached after a climb through a Pinus Pumila forest zone. Mt. Oku-hotaka-dake and Mt. Mae-hotaka-dake are right in your line of sight. Take a short break then start descending before the weather turns bad. Descend with caution by following the exact path that you ascend.