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Norikura (Nagano)


Norikuradake 3026m is an active volcano and scenic dayhike in Nagano. The hike is easy to access by bus which makes this hike a great choice for beginners and families. The plateau also has many other small peaks and ponds and there is lots to explore after climbing the big peak. The access described here is from Norikura Kogen.

⏲︎	Time: 3-4hKanji: 乗鞍岳Location: NaganoDistance: 6.9kmDifficulty: EasyElevation Gain: 553mDayhikeHiking Season: May to November

Currently the Norikura Skyline access from Hirayu is not possible due to a landslide. The trail described here is from Norikura Kogen and the only way to climb without starting from the bottom. (the skyline from Hirayu is scheduled to reopen later in 2024)



Park at the Norikura visitor center or at Sanbondaki parking lot. After Sanbondaki the road is closed to private cars. Then either walk all the way or take the bus described below.

Public Transportation

Take the bus to the Norikura visitor center.

Access is easiest from Takayama or Matsumoto and the schedules are on google maps.

Once you get to the visitor center take the Alpico Bus to "Daisekkei/Katanokoya". The schedule is also on google maps and cost is 4000¥ round trip. In June the first bus was at 8:30am.

Trail description

The trailhead has toilets and a little rest house. If you go early in June you can also see the snow gorge.

Start by going straight up from the left side of the road to the ridge and Katanokoya. In mid June there was still plenty of snow.

Once you get up, turn left and head for the peak. The trail is rocky with boulders and it's steep. It's not technical and not exposed making this hike a good choice for alpine beginner hikes.

Just before the peak keep right to go up to the shrine. For the way down go behind the little shrine so you can loop around and get out at a small hut that sells snacks and drinks.

Then make your way back down to Katanokoya. If you have extra time you can explore some of the many smaller peaks around the plateau. Walk on the little "road" behind Katanokoya and go up the hill. You can later loop around on the actual road back to the bus stop.

If you go outside of the main season (July to mid October) you might need crampons and axe.


The huts usually open from late June to early October.

Katanokoya: 11.000¥ incl 2 meals

Ginreiso: 17.000¥ incl 2 meals (this is more like a hotel with private rooms)

Hakuunso: 9.900¥ incl 2 meals

Elevation Profile & Map



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