Tengudake 2640m (天狗岳) from Honzawa Onsen (本沢温泉) is a relatively easy winter hike. The ridge to the peak has a steep and exposed section, and the weather is notoriously bad in the Yatsugatake mountains, but overall, this is a good hike to practice your crampons and axe skills. Honzawa is also famous for being Japan's highest outdoor onsen, and especially in winter, it's amazing to have a bath surrounded by snow. The hut is open year-round.
Elevation Gain: 1300m
There is a small free parking lot right at the trailhead, which fills up quickly. If its full, continue down the road to Inagoyu Hotspring, which will have more parking (Pay inside; it was a couple 100¥). There is a trail through the forest to go up, so you don't have to walk along the road (~15min walk)
There is also a bus stop at the hotspring from Koumi Station, but it doesn't run from November to April.
Day 1: 2:50h
From the trailhead, it takes around 1:30h to Shirabisogoya through the forest. There is a little pond, and it's normally open in winter for snacks and has a toilet. Then it's another 1:20h to Honzawa onsen. Depending on the weather, you can continue on to Tengudake and then stay the night or go up the next day. The weather in the Yatsugatake mountain range is often bad, and it's rare to have a sunny and not windy/cloudy/rainy day. As you can see, we had bad weather at the peak too. Keep you schedule flexible and decide based on which day looks better.
Day 2: 6h
Next day head up to Tengudake. Roundtrip, it should take you about 4:30h. If you check the map below, there are two options from the hut. Left and right. The right trail is shorter, but it's sometimes closed in winter, and then you have to go around, like we did. If it's open, I would recomend walking it as a loop.
On your way back, you can do one last stop at the onsen and then head back. Btw. it's okay to use a swimsuit in the outdoor bath if you are shy. When we went, people waited their turn, and we didn't share it, but that might differ if it's more busy.
Another option is the indoor bath, which has different opening times dependig on the gender.
Honzawa Onsen/Kuroyuri Hyutte: 11.000 - 12.000¥ private room incl. 2 meals (depending on the building) + 500¥ in winter for the heating fee. Reservation required.
If you just hike to the Onsen the daytrip bath fee is 1000¥.
Tent is 1000¥ per person and reservation is not required.
We stayed without meals and used their breakroom for dinner.
Elevation Profile & Map
My Yamap tracking didn't work for this hike so I only have the elevation profile to the Onsen.
If you have any questions leave a comment or message me directly through the chat!