Best Hike Japan

Mt. Oku-Hotaka

Name in Japanese: Oku-Hotaka-dake (奥穂高岳)
Location: Nagano, Gifu
Elevation: 3,190 m

A holy ground for alpinists where the modern alpinism in Japan has developed

Mt. Hotaka is a general term of Mt. Okuhotaka, Mt. Nishihotaka, Mt. Maehotaka and Mt. Kitahotaka. Mt. Hotaka is consit of rugged rocky ridges so that there are many radders and chains on hiking routes. This mountain is also famous for rock climbing. Karasawa is a base camp for hikes and a tent village emerges during hiking season.


There are several routes to Mt. Oku-Hotaka. Two routes shown here are examples. Those should be a multiday hike.

  1. From Kamikouchi: 16 hours 30 minutes (36 km)
  2. From Shin-Hotaka Onsen: To be noted

Sample route

Route: From Kamikouchi
Distance: 36 km
Distance in elevation: 1,685 m
Difficulty during the best season: advanced level
Season for hikers: July to early October

Route and estimated course time:
Kamikouchi -[0:55]- Myojin -[1:00]- Tokusawa -[1:10]- Yokoo -[1:20]- Hondani-bashi -[1:40]- Karasawa -[2:30]- Hotaka-dake sanso -[0:50]- Mt. Hotaka -[0:40]- Hotaka-dake sanso -[1:30]- Karasawa -[1:00]- Hondani-bashi -[0:50]- Yokoo -[1:10]- Tokusawa -[1:00]- Myojin -[0:55]- Kamikouchi [16 hours 30 minutes]

It is almost a smooth road from Kamikochi to Yokoo. Yokoo is a branch to Mt. Yari, Mt. Hotaka (via Karasawa) and Mt. Cho. The roue is along a stream after crossed Yokoo O-hashi (Yokoo bridge). The is a big wall called ‘Byobu-iwa’ which is famous for rock climbing. From Hontani-bashi (Hontani bridge), the trail becomes steeper and a zigzag bath until Karasawa. From Karasawa, there are two routes. Those are joined into one again on the way to the mountain ridge. Select ‘panorama route’ and, after joined, there are ladders and chains. Hotaka-dake sanso is almost there. There are ladders and chains on the route to Mt. Hotaka. Route to Mt. Nishi-Hotaka from Mt. Hotaka is recognized as the most toughest normal route in Japan. From the peak of Mt. Oku-Hotaka, Landscape for 360 degrees, including the landscape of the mountains to Mt. NIshihotaka, can be enjoyed.

Stay on established trails and watch your footing, especially at overlooks and near drop-offs. Never throw or roll rocks because there may be hikers below.

Route map

sample hiking route of Mt. Oku-Hotaka

marks on the map

Hiking report

It is not available yet.


Public transportation

  1. From Kamikouchi: Mastsumoto station -(local train)- Shin-Shimashima -(bus)- Kamikochi
  2. From Shin-Hotaka Onsen: Matsumoto station -(bus)- Shin-Hotaka Onsen

Area information

Hot bath after hiking

Hirayu Onsen(奥飛騨温泉郷 平湯温泉)
Fee: 500 yen/adult
Bathing time: 10:00-21:00
Telephone: 0578-89-3338


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  • Hello!

    I noticed the beauty of Japanese nature when I went to an English language school in the US. While staying the US, I enjoyed hiking at National Parks. I wanted visitors from different countries to have a good time here in Japan as I did in the US.