Best Hike Japan

Akanagi-san Day Hike (09Jul2017)

Mt. Akanagi (Akanagi-san, 赤薙山): 2,010 meters, Tochigi prefecture


It was a rainy season of a year in Japan. I did not expect a sunny day on weekends (because of my luck), but the weather forecast said it would be fine on Sunday. This time, my aim was at flowers in mountains. Flowers are beautiful in this season in Japan, but lat June, I missed an Ozegahara hike to see skunk cabbage at its best. I planned an Akanagi-san hike to see Nikko day lilies that were at their best at Kirifuri Kogen.

A summer day

“I have two plans for the hike next Sunday. One is Mt. Nikko-Shirane hike. The other one is Mt. Akanagi hike to see Nikko day lilies. Which one do you like?”
“How long we should walk?”
“About 7 hours for Mt. Nikko-Shirane hike from Suganuma oarking and less than 4 hours for Mt. Akanagi hike, I think.”
“I want to go Mt. Akanagi because TV news said Nikko day lilies at Kirifuri Kogen were at their best.”

It was a really hot day. I sweated a lot even by the walk from the parking lot. We arrived at the 1st parking lot at 6:50 am but it was fill. We had to move to the 3rd parking lot that is about 10 minutes apart from the trailhead.

trailhead of Mt. Akanagi
Many people were walking to see Nikko day lilies from the early morning.
the 1st step of 1,445 steps
We had to climb a flight of 1,445 steps to the observation platform.
stairs on the gentle slope
The wooden stairs extends on a green mountain.
a dragonfly and Nikko day lily
A dragonfly and a Nikko day lily – my favorite photo of the hike

At about the half of the step, there was a rest area with roof. This was the only place where we could escape from the strong sunlight. Many people took a break there, especially tourists to see Nikko day lilies. It might be good idea to take a break there because the stairs became steeper from there.

The stairs became steeper.
The stairs became steeper.
The slope viewed from the side
The slope viewed from the side. – There were beautiful Nikko day lilies.
Nikko day lilies on the hillside
There were Nikko day lilies on the hillside.

It took 40 minutes to the observation platform. We sweated gallons due to the strong sunlight, no wind and a long stair. The temperature of the day was 33 degrees while the average temperature of July 9 in Nikko was 25 degrees.

view from the observation platform
View from the observation platform

I estimated that, for my daughter, Akanagi-san was about 1 hour to 1 hour and half walk from the platform. There looked no shade until the mountaintop area. It should have become a tough hike.

Mt. Akanagi from Mt. Komaru
Mt. Akanagi from Mt. Komaru
Mt. Akanagi
Mt. Akanagi looked so beautiful with fresh green.
a path to Mt. akanagi
This is the image of the mountain path to Mt. Akanagi.

A cloud blotted out the mountaintop and wind began to blow when we arrived there. It cooled down…
It cooled down but the path became uneasy to walk due to slippy due to wet soil, roots of trees and steeper slope.

the peak of Mt. Akanagi
The peak of Mt. Akanagi.
going down the mountain
We were going down the mountain carefully.

There were so many tourists and hikers when we went down to the trailhead. Thanks to the sunny weather during the rainy season, I think lots of people could enjoy the Nikko day lilies at their best.

Route & Time

Hike date: July 9, 2017
Members: Family (farther, mother and 9-year-old daughter)
Course time:
7:07 trailhead (1st step of the stairs) – 7:23 halfway of the stairs(a rest area with roof) – 7:46 Observation platform 7:53 – 9:20 My Akanagi 9:32 – 10:17 Observation platform – 10:37 trailhead [3 hours and 30 minutes]

trailhead (start of a long stairs)
[1] Trailhead of Akanagi-san. There are many tourists as well to see Nikko day lily.
the stair becomes steeper
[2] The stair becomes steeper on the half way to the observation platform.
signboard of the way to Mt. Akanagi and Mt. Maru
[3] The signboard shows the way to Mt. Akanagi (to left) and Mt. Maru (to right).
mountain path of Mt. Akanagi
[4] There is nothing to shade the sunlight on the trail.
among trees
[5] There are trees on the mountaintop area.
the peak of Mt. Akanagi
[6] The peak of Mt. Akanagi (Akanagi-san)

Access using public transportation

public transportation to Mt. Akanagi
Public transportation to Mt. Akanagi

Area Information

Hot bath after hiking

hot bath - image

500 yen/adult
TEL: 0288-53-6611
1.5 km walk from
underpass of expressway



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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.