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Nishihotaka to Yakedake traverse (Nagano)

Nishihotaka Ridgeline

The traverse from Nishihotaka 2909m to Yakedake 2455m is an intermediate overnight hike. Start is at Shinhotaka ropeway and you finish at Nakanoyu Onsen. It has some beautiful views of the Hotaka ridge and also views into the crater of Yakedake, which is an active volcano. You could also backtrack a bit and finish the hike in Kamikochi.

⏲︎	Time: 16-17h
	Kanji: 西穂高岳
		& 焼岳
 	Location: Nagano
Distance: 22km
	Difficulty: Intermediate
	Elevation Gain: 1600m
Hiking Season: July 
	to mid October
nishihotaka ridge line



Park at Shinhotaka ropeway. The upper parking lots from the second ropeway are free. (To get back to your car you'll need to take the bus to Hirayu and then switch to the Shinhotaka bus)

Public transportation

Take the bus to Hirayu Onsen and there change to the Shinhotaka bus. Take the earliest bus/ropeway as in summer this ridgeline often has thunderstorms in the afternoon.

You'll finish the hike at Nakanoyu Onsen and can take a bus back from there. It's about an hour walk to the bus stop. We hitchhiked to Hirayu Onsen instead.

Trail description

Day 1: 7:00h, 8km, 750m elevation gain

Start with the first ropeway at shinhotaka

It depends on the season but in summer its at 7:30-8:00. If there is a long line they will open it ealier. After taking the two ropeways the first part of the hike until the hut is through the forest. It should take about 1-1:30h to get to Nishiho sanso. We set up our tent there and then continued.

After the hut the rest of the hike is on the ridgeline and steeper/more exposed.

After pyramid peak the real fun begins and you'll slowly climb up and down the ridgeline until Nishihodaka. It should take between 2-3h to get to Nishihodaka.

Then make your way back to the hut where you'll stay for the night.

Most people wear a helmet for the section after pyramid peak as the rock is crumbly and you have a lot of vertical sections with rockfall.

Day 2: 9:44min, 16.6km, 700m elevation gain, 1824m elevation down

The next day you'll traverse to Yakedake. This trail is not as busy as others in the area and might be a bit overgrown in parts. Be careful if you can't see your feet and where you're stepping. The trail is narrow and exposed on the right.

After about 3h you'll get to Yakedakegoya, which is a good spot for a little break and you can buy drinks/snacks or use their toilet. From there it's another 1:30min to the peak of Yakedake.

After the peak you'll go back down the little section to the fork and instead of going to yakedakegoya you go down on the other side towards Nakanoyu Onsen.

It takes about 2h down to Nakanoyu. The first part is switchbacks and then the last bit is through the forest with lots of roots and a couple of steeper sections.

Then you either have to walk to the bus stop (45min) or hitchhike like we did.


Nishihosanso: 14.000¥ incl 2 meals, tent 2000¥ per person. Reservation required for both.

If you stay at Nakanoyu after the hike, I think they drive you to the bus stop the next day? But need to contact them to confirm.

Elevation Profile & Map



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