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1-day hike of Mt Ariake, North Japan Alps

Mt Ariake used to be an ascetic mountain for the practice of Shugendo, a Japanese spiritual discipline. Join Yukihisa, a JMGA mountain guide, on a 1-day hiking trip to this iconic peak of the North Japan Alps.

Mountain RangeJapan Alps
Duration1 day
Offer periodMay, Jun
Skill LevelIntermediate
Fitness LevelOccasional
Type of tripNot specified


Let’s go for a hike in a mountain with a long history. Nestled in the North Japan Alps, Mount Ariake (2268 m) used to be the training mountain for the monks leading an ascetic life under the Shugendo doctrine.

Mt Ariake is one of the iconic peaks in Azumino, an enchanting town in Nagano Prefecture. Due to its beautiful cone shape, Ariake is also known as Shinano-Fuji or Azumi-Fuji.

The route to Mt Ariake is really quiet and surrounded by a calm atmosphere. However, it has some steep and hard sections. Because of that, it’s popular only among expert hikers and few people visit it.

We’ll meet at 4.30 AM and start our trip walking from Kurokawa-sawa trailhead. This route is called Omote-Sando Route.

From there, we will go to Myoken-no-taki (25 m waterfall) and Shirakawa-no-taki (20 m waterfall).

Then, we’ll walk through Ochiai and climb up to the north side of Mt. Ariake. I will take you to its centre peak where we can have the best view of this beautiful scenery.

Afterwards, we will take the same route back to the trailhead. We will arrive at Nakabusa-Onsen around 3 PM and enjoy a relaxing bath in a traditional Onsen.

Finally, we will go to Mt. Ariake Shrine by taxi, and finish our tour at around 5:00 PM at the station nearby (ex. Hodaka Station).

Please note that the day is quite long (10 hours hiking), and about 40% of the route involves steep slopes where we’ll be climbing by holding on to tree roots for safety. Given the terrain type, this itinerary will be cancelled in case of rainy weather.

It’s important that you’re able to walk for about 10 hours a day with a 7 kg weight backpack.

After this trip, you can stay in Nakabusa-Onsen area or Azumino.

On the following day, it is possible to go sightseeing around Azumino, Ohmachi or Hakba area.

I recommend to travel to this area in the end of May and early June, because days are longer and you can enjoy rhododendron blossoms.

Would you like to explore this interesting peak in the Azumino area? Please, contact me for a hiking trip there!

If you are seeking a more challenging adventure, you can join this 4-day traverse in Mt Tsurugi & Tateyama mountains.


More info

Those who have diseases that prevent from climbing mountains can not join this tour. (ex. a respiratory disease, circulatory disease or paroxysmal disease, etc.) Also, people who take medicine for high blood pressure or hyperglycemia can not participate on this tour. Kit List: - General items for standard summer traverse - Rain Gear - Middle Layer clothes - Helmet (*It can be rented with JPY 1,500.)

Meeting point

Mt. Ariake Shrine in Azumino-shi at around 4:30 a.m. *I can pick you up at your hotel if it is around Hodaka in Azumino-shi.)



About the guide

guide profile img

I am a JMGA mountain guide, born and raised in Azumino at the foot of North Japan Alps. I've always played outdoors in the hills or rivers nearby and at the age of 10, my playground expanded into the North Japan Alps.
When I turned 23, I became passionate about alpine climbing and joined numerous expeditions abroad, including those in South America, Tibet and Nepal. In my late 20s, I returned to Nagano to join the mountain rescue team of the North Japan Alps and also started mountain guiding, and have been doing it now for over 20 years.

My work in the mountains is quite diverse - I work on mountain rescue, help with mountain hut logistics, maintenance of mountain trails etc. as a locally bred mountain guide.

Since 10 years ago, I've started my work in the mountainous and glaciated areas of Antarctica with the Japan Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), as a field guide /manager for researches in geology, geophysics, and meteorite research. I alternate my work between Antarctica and guiding domestically in Japan.

From 2017, I will join JARE again on an expedition crossing the Antarctica followed by an overwinter stay with the research team at the Syowa station. I will resume my guiding in Japan from April 2019. You can follow the Antarctic project I am involved in here - We will be extracting an ancient (more than 800,000 years ago) ice core to recreate the environment then.

I will be able to guide you on whichever mountain you like in Japan but my favourite field of guiding is where I grew up, the North Japan Alps (in particular Mt Yari and the Hodaka ranges). I like to guide on uncrowded mountains and routes carrying tents for sleeping, but I also guide a lot on rocky climb routes.

For visitors to Japan wanting to experience the mountains here, in addition to the classic climbs, I'd recommend you to also enjoy something very 'Japanese' like Sawanobori (only offered in Japan!) and foraging!

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Prices per person

Group of 1

JPY 38145 each

Group of 2

JPY 20619 each

Group of 3

JPY 14433 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

- Guiding fee

Price details

The following items are not included in the price: Guide Expense (Transportation: approximately JPY 6,000 including taxi fee with clients). Accommodation on the previous night for client around Azumino (if you would like to stay at my place, JPY 2,500 per person for bed, JPY 500 for each meal). Onsen fee after tour.

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