Omote Ginza (表銀座) is a 3 nights 4 days hike in the Northern Alps. It's a very popular route with beautiful views and intermediate difficulty. The best time for this hike is once the snow melts from July to mid October. You'll start at Tsubakuro, pass Otensho and Yarigatake and finish in Kamikochi. In summer this route can get busy, so start early and make your reservations early!
Elevation Gain: 2982m
Multi Day Hike
The trailhead for Omote Ginza is at Nakabusa Onsen in Azumino city. I recomend starting from this side as there are more public transportation options when you finish in Kamikochi and it gives you more flexibility.
The bus starts running from mid July, if you want to go before that you'll have to take an expensive taxi.
Day 1 Nakabusa Onsen to Enzanso Mountain Hut: 3h30min, 4km, 1266m Elevation Gain
Start at Nakabusa onsen. The trailhead is right next to Nakabusa Onsen Hotel and there is a little shop and toilet at the trailhead.
The first part of the hike goes through the forest. It's quite the workout with steady eleveation gain up the mountain. To give you a break there are serveral "stations" with little benches for rest. You'll also pass by Kassen - Goya which is famous for watermelon and has toilets (200Y). If you hike in summer the watermelon is really nice and refreshing in the blistering heat. The trail up is not technical, just steep and over roots. It took me 3,5h up to Tsubakuro sanso.
Once you get up to the ridge, check in at the mountain hut and drop off your backpack (or set up your tent). Then you can walk the final bit to the peak of Tsubakuro (15-20min).
Day 2 Enzanso to Nishidake Huette: 5h30min, 9.1km, 693m Elevation Gain
Today you are traversing to Nishidake, passing Otensho on the way.
There are two sections where you'll go down a bit, but the ridgeline is mostly the same elevation. It's a scenic walk and you'll have beautiful views of Yarigatake for most of the way. You can also do a little detour and climb to peak of Otensho. If you do, it's about 45min extra. If you decide to bypass it you have a small chain section that is a little bit exposed.
From Enzanso it took me about 3h to Daitenjohuette and then another 2:10min to Nishidake huette, where you'll stay for the night.
Day 3 Nishidake Huette to Yarigatake Sanso: 3h10min, 4km, 826m Elevation Gain
Today you'll start with a descent and lots of ladders. Some of them are very exposed and over serious drop-offs so take your time and go slow.
It took me about 2:30min to Huette Oyari and then another 35min to Yarigatake sanso.
The views are incredible and it was my favorite day of the hike.
From the hut it's another 30 min to the peak, this section is a little technical and exposed. Also if you have slow people in front of you, you might have to wait as there is no option to pass them.
There are 2 marked "trails" one for the way up, and one going down, follow the arrows to take the right one.
If you brought a headlamp you can also stay up on the peak for sunset or climb it early next morning for sunrise.
Day 4 Yarigatake Sanso to Kamikochi: 6h15min, 18.3km, 197m Elevation Gain, 1768m Down
Today you're walking back down to Kamikochi. The first bit will be steep and lots of switchbacks.
After Babadira campground it gets easier and soon you'll be in the forest. It took me 2:10min to the campground.
30min more and you'll get to Yarisawa lodge, from there it's pretty easy and in the forest/valley.
One more hour to Yoko sanso and then it's flat walking paths all the way back to the busy part of Kamikochi.
If you want to take a break I would stop at Tokusawa or Konashidaira campground. Konashidaira campground also has a small bath which is amazing after 4 days of not showering. They usually open after lunch.
Enzanso: 15.000¥ incl 2 meals. Tent:2000¥. Reservation required for both
Nishidake Huette: 14.000¥ incl 2 meals. Tent:2000¥. Reservation required for both
Yarigatake Sanso: 14.000¥ incl 2 meals. Tent: 2000¥ per person. Reservation for hut required.
Camping on this route is amazing and I would highly recomend staying in your tent. If you decide to camp, make sure to reserve beforehand. The tent sites at Enzanso and Nishidake are reservation only and they definitely fill up.
You can charge your phone at Enzanso and Yarigateke Sanso for a fee. They also sell snacks, lunch, drinks and water. Payments at all huts are cash only and prices are significantly higher because everything needs to be brought in by helicopter. (e.g. cola 500Y, toilet 200Y etc) so bring enough cash. Also since Covid some huts don't offer dinner for tent guests anymore, so keep that in mind for your food planning. Lastly, temperatures drop a lot at night and might get close to zero (even in August). Make sure your sleeping bag and pad are warm eough.
Other huts on the traverse
Elevation Profile & Map
If you have any questions leave a comment below or message me directly through the chat!