The traverse from Kitadake 3193m (北岳) to Ainodake 3190m (間ノ岳) to Notoridake (農鳥岳) 3026m, often also called Shirane Sanzan (白根三山), is a strenuous hike that can be completed in 2 days.
3 days is possible as well, but Notorikoya is not always open, so you need to check with Daimonzawagoya.
The hike is not technically difficult but quite long, and especially the second day down to Daimonzawa goya feels never-ending. Keep in mind that you can only reach Hirogawara by bus, so you can only hike Shirane Sanzan once they start running. Typically from early summer to late spring. (Check here for the timetable).
Time: 14:11min (incl 2:40min break)
Elevation Gain: 2733m
The logistics for this hike are a bit more complicated, but totally doable by public transportation. The trailhead is at Hirogawara, which is only accessible by bus.
If your coming by car, park at the end of the trail at Narada, then take the bus to Hirogawara, and then you'll get back out to your car. There is also a nice Onsen here, perfect to clean up and relax a bit.
If your taking public transportation,you need to get to Kofu by train and take the bus to Hirogawara. (about 2h and 2000Y).
Once finished, take the bus from Narada back to Hirogawara and from there to Kofu.
Day 1: 6.5km 5:30h 1710m elevation gain, 354m down
Start at Hirogawara trailhead, cross the bridge, and pass the campground on your right. After a couple of minutes, you'll get to a fork in the trail. Keep right to Shiraneoikekoya (took us 2.5h to get there). This is a nice little break stop next to the pond.
Your next break stop is Katanokoya after about 2 hours and then 1.5 hours to Kitadakesanso. The whole way up is pretty steep, and you have a total of 1710m elevation gain until Kitadakesanso, where we stayed for the night. We opted to stay at Kitadakesano as its position on the saddle is more sheltered and a little closer to Ainodake. If you plan on hiking the traverse in 3 days, you could also stay at Katanokoya for the first night.
Day 2: 17.1km 8:50h 1022m elevation gain, 3072m down
Start early to see the sunrise at the peak of Ainodake. When we did this hike in mid-October, it was around 0 degrees at night at the campsite, and the peak was very windy and cold. Winter gloves etc. are needed. It takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to Ainodake.
Then continue onwards along the ridgeline and pass Notorikoya, which is not open this year. After the hut, you'll start climbing up again, and it's not very long but steep. Enjoy the views from Notoridake and then start the long and little monotonous descent back to Narada. For the last part along the river, you have to cross it a couple of times, and then you'll get out at a hydropower station and can walk on a road back to the parking lot. We got picked up by a friendly old guy and saved the last 30 minutes of road walking.
Shiraneoike (Reservation required for hut and tent)
- Hut (10.500Y incl. 2 meals)
- Tent (1000Y per person).
Katanokoya (Reservation for hut is required, tent first come first serve)
- Hut (1200Y incl. 2 meals)
- Tent (1500Y per person).
Kitadakesanso (Reservation required for hut and tent)
- Hut (12.300Y incl 2 meals)
- Tent (1100Y per person).
Notorikoya (not always open, reservation required)
The caretaker/ownder retired or got sick, so the hut is not always open. You need to check with Daimonzowakoya
Daimonzawakoya (Reservaton for hut required, tent first come first serve, shower still not in use due to covid)
- Hut (9500Y incl. 2 meals)
- Tent (1000Y per person)
Elevation Profile & Map
If you have any questions leave a comment or message me through the chat!