Hakubayari Onsen 2100m (白馬鑓温泉小屋) to Karamatsu 2696m (唐松岳) is a difficult 2 day traverse on the Hakuba ridgeline. First part to the onsen is easy and just has a lot of elevation gain. Day 2 is a very exposed ridgeline with steep drop offs, chains and climbing. Day 1 includes an outdoor Onsen with beautiful views. This hike is incredibly scenic and one of my favorites in Japan.
Helmet and gloves needed.
Location: Hakuba, Nagano
Elevation Gain: 2300m
Take the bus or park at the Hakuba Happo visitor center. From there take a bus to the trailhead Sarukura (猿倉), it takes about 30min and costs 1000¥. The bus runs from end of April to end of October.
Youll finish the hike at Happoikesanso and can take the lift and gondola down or walk.
Don't worry about the lift/gondola ticket, you can buy it at the second lift on the way down at Usagidaira.
Happo Alpen Line Ticket: 3000¥ one way
Day 1: 6h, 8.4km, 1700m elevation gain. Start from Sarukura bus stop. The hut there has toilets, vending machine etc. You could stay here too to get an early start.
First couple of hours are mostly in the forest and there isn't much to see.
Once you get out of the forest the scenery is beautiful and you'll soon cross a small stream
The onsen at Hakubayarigoya is a 1000¥ for day visitors so not cheap but so worth it. Be prepared, it's very hot.
After the onsen it's another 2,5h to tengusanso, the hut for tonight.
If you have extra time you could also make a detour to Hakubayari which should add about 70min round trip from the fork.
Day 2: 7h, 13km, 630m elevation gain. Today is gonna be a lot more difficult and you'll have to pass the Kaerazu Kiretto using chains and your hands.
Start early to see the sunrise over the ridgline.
It took us about 3.5h to Karamatsudake and then another 3.5h to Happoikesanso.
Had a nice break at the pond and were quite slow on the last part as the area around the pond is very busy and the boardwalks were crowded.
Multiple huts along this route, we stayed at Tengusanso in a tent.
Tent was 2000¥ per person and 1000¥ per tent.
Staying in the hut with 2 meals is 15.000¥.
Both require advance reservation by phone.
Their well isn't so clean so I would bring an extra water filter or buy bottled water.
In 2022 they allowed us to stay inside even if you were camping, which is very nice because it was really cold in the evening. Normally you can't use their inside spaces if you're camping
Elevation Profile & Map
If you have any questions leave a comment or message me directly through the chat!