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Gozaisho Snow Hike (Mie)



 

Gozaishodake 1212m is a scenic and easy to access winter hike. There is a variety of trails suited from beginner winter level to intermediate winter level. The mountain also has a ropeway, which runs year round and can be used in case of bad weather or to shorten the hike.

 

		
⏲︎	Time: 6-7hKanji: 御在所岳Location: Mie/ShigaDistance: 6kmDifficulty: IntermediateElevation Gain: 750mDayhikeHiking Season: year-round
				



Access

Car

Park your car at the ropeway station. Parking is 1000¥ per car. You can also park along the road for free on the other side, but the higher parts are closed in winter, so there is very little free parking and it fills up quickly.


Public transportation

If coming by public transpiration, take the direct Mie Kotsu bus from Meitetsu Bus Center (Nagoya). It has one departure on weekdays and two on the weekend. Cost is 1500¥ one way. You can use your IC card or buy a ticket on the bus with cash. If you miss the bus, you can also take a combination of train/bus which runs more frequently (times are on google).


Trail description

Mount Gozaisho has many trails which makes it perfect for a loop. There is also a ropeway to skip the elevation gain but honestly the peak is not very nice and it's the actual hike thats beautiful.


To get to the trailheads keep to the left of the ropeway and walk for a couple of minutes through the town. You'll go past a little abandoned building and along a fence next to the river. If you have extra time, you can also do a 10min detour to the big waterfall a little further upstream.


Chain route up (For this route I would definitely bring proper crampons and axe, even if spikes might be fine depending on the year/snow level)


Once you get out to the road keep walking up the hill and through the tunnel.

After a couple of minutes you'll get to the trailhead on the right. The whole trail up to the peak on this route is a bit steep and streneous. At the bottom is usually not much snow, but it very much depends on the year.


(Snow level in February 2022 and 2024)


About halfway you'll get to your first set of chains. Depending on the snow level they might be covered with snow and be icy. If there is a lot of snow you won't be able to make it down unless you have crampons and for safety you'll also need an axe.

2024 had very little snow and we were able to walk it no problem, when I went in 2022 there was a lot of snow and it would have been too dangerous with just spikes.



Once you pass your last set of chains you have one more steep section. This section might have deep snow and it can be very tiring. Wakan or snowshoes might be needed.

It took us about 3h 30min of medium fast walking without breaks to the top. If there is a lot of snow, it might be closer to 4h.


The peak of Gozaisho is actually a ski resort. You can walk around a bit but there isn't much to see in my opinion. On weekends it's also very crowded. If you're hungry the ropeway cafeteria is famous for curry udon.


For going down in winter the river trail is best, as it's more gradual and less steep. The turnoff for the trail can be hard to spot, but Yamap shows it well.

Walk to Kunimitoge and then turn rightish to go down the mountain (20min). This part is beautiful on a sunny day with the frosted branches and blue sky.

From Kunimitoge it took us a little more than an hour to Tonai mountain lodge. This part is quite steep as well, going along the river and through the forest. At the higher parts it might also have deep snow.

The last bit from the lodge back to the road is more gradual and easier. You'll get to an "interesting" dam structure in the river and you have to walk through it.

Once you get back out to the road, go back the same way along the river and back to the ropeway.


The trail is pretty easy to follow when the weather is good, but definitely download the GPS map if you're not familiar with the trail. If the snow is deep and fresh there might not be tracks.

If you have no experience with winter hiking, I would recommend going the river route up and back down the same way. Or take the ropeway back down, if you don't want to walk it twice.



(After hike Onsen at Yunomoto Hotel)


Winter warning:

As always for winter hikes, make sure you bring the right gear and are prepared. Winter mountains are not forgiving if you make a mistake. Even an easier one like Gozaisho.

Gear I bring in winter always includes:

Extra layers (no cotton) and extra gloves. Emergency bivy. Crampons and axe. Handwarmers. Headlamp. Sunglasses. Waterproof shelljacket and pants. Waterproof boots.


If you want to hike Gozaisho in summer check here


Elevation Profile & Map


Gallery


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