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Shirane Sanzan: Kita -Aino - Notori (Yamanashi)

Mount Kitadake

The Shirane Sanzan traverse passes by Japans 2nd highest peak Kitadake 3193m and is a scenic and streneous hike in the Southern Alps. On the way you'll also pass Ainodake 3190m and Notoridake 3026m. It is normally hiked in 2-3 days, 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 with 18km is streneous. 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 mid October. Check here for the timetable.

Shirane Sanzan hike

⏲︎	Time: 15h
✎	Kanji: 北岳
		& 白根三山
⚲ 	Location: Yamanashi
↔	Distance: 23.6km
✮	Difficulty: Difficult
ᨒ	Elevation Gain: 2733mm
☀	2D/1N or 3D/2N
☉	Hiking Season: July 
	to mid October


The trailhead for Kitadake is at Hirogawara, which is only accessible by bus or taxi.


Park at the end of the trail at Narada, then take the bus to Hirogawara. When you finish hiking, you'll get out to the road about 30min from the parking lot. There is also a nice Onsen here, perfect to clean up and relax a bit.

Public transportation

Take the train to Kofu and then the bus to Hirogawara. (about 2h and 2000Y).

Once finished, take the bus from Narada back to Hirogawara and from there to Kofu.

Trail description

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, which is just before the peak of Kitadake. From there it's 1.5 hours more 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 about 1h30min to Ainodake.

Then continue onwards along the ridgeline and pass Notorikoya. Since the hut owner retired it's not always open anymore, check with Daimonzawagoya. If it's open you can stay here and break the hike into 3 days.

After the hut, you'll start climbing up again. 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 a road. We hitchhiked and got picked up by a friendly old guy and saved the last 30 minutes of road walking.

kitadake sunrise


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



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