Okuhotaka 3190m (奥穂高岳) is a beautiful and difficult overnight hike from Kamikochi. It's the third highest peak in Japan after Mt. Fuji and Kitadake. The route described here passes by Maehodaka and is very strenuous. It also requires a helmet because of the loose rock and rockfall danger. Depending on your arrival time in Kamikochi you might have to split it into 3 days and stay an extra night at Dakesawa. I would recomend doing this loop clockwise, that way your desecent is more gradual and less steep. Going up ladders is more fun than going down in my opinion.
Time: 14:45min (incl 3:30min break)
Location: Kamikochi, Nagano
Elevation Gain: 2083m
Kamikochi is only accessible by bus ot taxi, no private cars. If you are coming by car you need to part at Sawando Parking Lot (East) or Hirayu Akanda Parking Lot (West) and take the bus. Bus takes about 30min to get to Kamikochi bus terminal.
From Hirayu the fare is 2090¥ return.
From Sawando 2400¥ return.
If you are coming from Tokyo, Nagoya or Osaka/Kyoto there are direct buses a couple of times a day (depending on the season). If not Matsumoto, Nagano and Takayama also have buses directly to Kamikochi.
Days 1: 8:30h, 8.2km, 1924m elevation gain.
Start at the Kamikochi bus terminal and make your way towards Kappabashi bridge. There, cross the river and keep walking along the river past the restaurant and shops. As this is a steep trail with lots of elevation gain, you need to start this hike as early as possible (first bus). Otherwise, split it into 3 days and stay an extra night at Dakezawa before you go up to Okuhotaka.
Once you get out of the forest, you have a small boulder field up to Dakezawa hut (took me 1:50min). From there, the trail gets a lot steeper and some climbing with chains, ladders, and your hands is needed. If you have some extra time and it's still early in the day, make the little detour up to Maehotaka (from Dakesawa to Maehotaka 3h).
If it's getting late, go on to Okuho. (Remember, arriving after 3-4 pm at the hut is considered dangerous and rude in Japan)
From Maehotaka to Okuhotaka, it's another 1:40h. And then 30min to Hotakasanso.
Day 2: 6:15h, 16.2km, 160m elevation gain.
Descent towards Karasawa, the first part is steep, but after Karasawa, it's pretty relaxed.
1:30h to Karasawagoya, then 1:30h to Yokoo-sanso. From there, you're walking on flat river paths for another 1:40h to Tokusawa campground (I had a bath and lunch here, it opens from 2 pm usually) and a last 15min back to Kappabashi bridge. If you have extra time you could also stop at Myojin Pond or keep walking to Taishopond and get on the bus at Taisho-ike hotel.
Dakesawa:14.000¥ incl 2 meals. Tent:2000¥. Reservation required.
Hotakasanso: 13500¥ incl 2 meals. Tent: 2000¥. Reservation required only for hut, tent is first come first serve.
Elevation Profile & Map
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