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Intro to Ice climbing at Mt. Akadake of Yatsugatake

Ice climbing Mt. Akadake
Ice climbing Mt. Akadake
Ice climbing Mt. Akadake
Ice climbing Mt. Akadake
Ice climbing Mt. Akadake

Join Cveto Podlogar, IFMGA mountain guide, into this 2-day ice climbing course in Mount Akadake, in the Yatsugatake mountains.

Private and Group

Yatsugatake Mountain Range

2 Days

Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Nov, Dec




Would you like to improve your skills at ice climbing and learn more about this exciting sport? Then join me for this 2-day course in a breathtaking scenery: Mount Akadake, in the Yatsugatake mountains.

At 2899 m, Mount Akadake is the highest peak in the Yatsugatake mountains. Legend has it that this mountain was once higher than Mount Fuji. This volcanic mountain range is only 150 kilometers away from Tokyo, and it's a popular climbing destination all year round.

However, when winter temperatures drop down, many visitors go there to practice ice climbing on its many frozen waterfalls. In fact, there are both natural ice routes and artificial ice routes, which are ideal for beginners making their first steps. The weather is often fine and the view from the summits is amazing; you can admire Mt. Fuji and all the Japanese Alps. The winter conditions and good climbing is from mid-November till mid of May.

If you are in Tokyo on a business trip or on a vacation during the cherry blossom time, send us a request to book this fantastic experience! I’ll be glad to organize this trip for you!

Please also contact me on this 2-day course in Mt. Ogawa if you're more interested in rock climbing.

Price includes

- Guiding fee

- Mountain guide expenses

Price details

Not included:

- Insurance is not included in the price.

- Mountain hut fee for the participants, you will need to bring extra JPY 9,500 for the hut (in cash).

- Your transportation to the meeting point.

- Artificial ice wall usage fee (JPY 1,000 if we use it).

Please note; during weekends and holidays, this programme is 20.000 JPY higher per group.

Special service: I can pick you up at your hotel in Tokyo, early in the morning for an additional cost of 24.000 JPY per group.

Please inquire if you wish this optional service and note, it is one way only, and you’ll need to return to Tokyo by train or bus, because of heavy traffic jam, usually every afternoon.

Climbing with kids: age less than 10 years old is not recommended and also no rental equipment available.


Day 1: Ice climbing practice

We will meet at Kobuchizawa station. Then, we will drive 30 minutes by car to the trail head. The hike to the hut will take us around 2 hours, and here we will do some gear check up, ice axe practice and crampons work on scrambling terrain or challenge some ice climbing. Overnight is at very cozy hut at 2220m (7300 feet), with fantastic food.

Day 2: Mt. Akadake summit

On this day, we will ascend Mt. Akadake summit by the main ridge and descend on other side of the mountain. The route has exposed sections with some scrambling on rock or hard snow, but there’s nothing to worry: you will be roped up. We should be back at the car park around 3:00 to 5:00 pm and drive back to train station.




Mountain hut

More info

Frequent questions: Is there any technical component? The route is partly exposed on mixed terrain, scrambling on rock and snow. If the weather is nasty like strong wind or icy snow, for safety ascent we rope up and wear harness, crampons, use ice axe, etc. The slope steepness is up to 60 degrees. To the summit, there are 2 different routes going up and down. The guide will decide the route relying on weather forecast and snow conditions.

Equipment and gear rentals, if you wish to travel light; we can rent crampons, ice axe, helmet and harness at JPY 1000/item, payable in cash direct to the guide after the climb. For this ascent, you will need to bring your own proper clothing and own mountaineering boots. Please note we don’t rent winter boots.

Food and drinks: You should take 2L of water; 500ml to1l thermos is recommended. We can buy lunch and snacks/drinks at the small stores on the way or some at the hut too.

Insurance: please make sure you are individually insured appropriately with international travel insurance which specifically covers using ice axe and crampons.

Others: sometimes trip itinerary may be altered and/or date change can be discussed, case by case, based on weather forecast. I will modify my schedule and we’ll do our best to make our guests happy. I would advice you to make your schedule flexible as well. The guide may choose different road approach and climbing route, time of the early morning start, etc. If the weather forecast and conditioners are really bad on scheduled day or day before and after as well; than we’re always offering plan B.

Meeting point

JR Kobuchisawa station at 9:00 am. If you travel from Tokyo: JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku station, take at 7:00 am Super Azusa No.1 arriving at Kobuchisawa at 8:53 am (Train fare is around 5.400 JPY one way). If you have your own means of transport, we can meet directly at the car parking close to our trailhead (I’ll inform you the exact point).

About the guide

I’m an international IFMGA mountain guide; also the first non-Japanese mountain guide certified by the JMGA (Japan Mountain Guide Association); born in Slovenia.

My country is small but well known in the world as strong in sports and mountaineering. I use to compete as Olympic team member and on World Cup competitions as a Cross-country skier. After I left Slovenia and traveled all over the world, I ended up in Japan. I married beautiful native lady, and have lived here for 30 years. I love Japanese mountains and feel privileged to be able to enjoy these mountains trough the entire four seasons.

I’m based at the foot of Japan Alps; convenient place in winter for ski touring from Nagano to Hokkaido, winter mountaineering or ice climbing at Yatsugatake, and of course ascending the symbol of Japan Mt.Fuji.

In summer Japan is a great place for hiking, alpine climbing or popular shower-climbing and some fine sport/free climbing year around.

Since 2013, I’m working on NHK (Japanese national TV) programs, introducing Japan culture and outdoor activities, climbing skiing etc. Check it out at the link below the recent one about BC skiing.

It is my absolute pleasure also to take and guide you in my home country Slovenia. In addition to guide in the mountains, I also enjoy having the opportunity to teach mountain climbing skills to every level of climbers, here in Japan. This is because I wish everybody to be SAFE on the mountains.
Please contact me on E&S if you would love to have great experience, as well as a tailor-made plan for other mountains and sport climbing all over SE Asia, EU, South America....in any season!


Slovenian | Japanese | English

What people are saying about this trip

Vasilii Ivanov


December, 2022

It was an amazing little adventure in Japanese mountains! Kudos to Cveto who is a skillful mountain guide who ensures safe and exciting experience even when weather is not what is expected

Bob Mountain


March, 2019

Cveto is an exceptionally experienced guide. Akadake was a challenging climb for me but Cveto got me up and down the mountain safely and made it a lot of fun. He taught me some new crampon techniques that I was able to put to work immediately and they really helped with the steepness and deep snow on the mountain that day. He helped me with trip logistics as well, recommending a nice local lodge to stay at. His English was excellent and I would strongly recommend him as a guide.

Todd Hall


December, 2017

Awesome! Couldn’t have asked for a better guide or a better two day activity. Cheers Cveto and Chibow!


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