I feel that Mt. Hiuchi should be looped with Mt. Yake, and that will make it a very full hike. Basically Mt. Hiuchi is in the middle of a couple of summits so it can be easily looped with so many other mountains. But it deserves it's own post (as every mountain does) and so here we are.
Budget: JPY4,600 (~USD43)
- JPY850. Train, Nagano Station to Myokokogen Station.
- JPY1,000. Bus, Myokokogen Station to Sasagamine Bus Stop.
- JPY1,000. Bus, Sasagamine Bus Stop to Myokokogen Station
- JPY850. Train, Myokokogen Station to Nagano Station.
- JPY6,000. Mountain hut reservation (optional) OR
- JPY900. Camping fee
- +JPY4,820. Two days' worth allocated with Seishun 18 ticket. (if from Tokyo)
Hike Date / Difficulty
- Not yet done.
- Difficulty: 4 out of 5, probably.
- Route below is around 16.6kilometers, with an elevation change of ▲1,435m/ ▽1,435m
- PDF Map Link
- Highly recommended to be done with another hyakumeizan (100 Famous Mountain), Mt. Myoko (妙高山).
When to Go
Bus only runs from around July to October, so that is a limitation. Further, based on this blog, winter ascent is not recommended due to avalanches.
- I am putting the start at Nagano Station, as I plan to either take the overnight bus or take the train to Nagano the day before, and spend the night in Nagano.
- It MAY be doable as a day hike, but if you start at 8:30am (earliest bus), the map says you should be done by 5:10pm with no breaks. The last bus is at 4pm. So if you are pushing for a dayhike, you better have your own car. Or trail run.
- Trailhead: Sasagamine (笹ヶ峰) Bus Stop. Close to Mt. Hiuchi. To get here, you have to take a bus from Myokokogen Station. The schedule for 2020 is here, but they create a new pdf every year, so just google search "妙高高原駅 笹ヶ峰 バス" and the first one that pops up is probably it.
- Train, Nagano Station to Myokokogen Station (妙高高原駅), JPY850, 44 minutes.
- Bus, Myokokogen to Sasagamine Bus Stop. JPY1,000, 50mins. Here's the bus schedule:
- Mountain huts. You are not really spoiled for choice here, and they also sell out fast.
- Paid mountain huts. There are two, and both of them have camping spots too.
- Koya-ike Hut (高谷池ヒュッテ). There's an English version, so just click the Koya Pond English Page. Take a look at the Japanese page though, as the vacancy status is shown there. If you see the green "個室満室", it means it's full.
- It's JPY6,000 a night with no meals for a stay, or JPY900 if you're camping.
- Reservations are not needed if you are camping, but necessary otherwise. As of July 2020, I could only see one more day that's open for the next three months.
- Kurosawa-ike Hut (黒沢池ヒュッテ(. No websites really, but I found information here, where it says they are closed for 2020 due to covid19.
- Free mountain huts (emergency hut). One near Mt. Yake, which is about 3 hours away from Mt. Hiuchi, so it doesn't really count. Plus, it is not the best. Here's the picture I found off the internet (the blue, sad looking hut).
- 06:23am. Train, Nagano Station to Myokokogen Station.
- 07:07am. ETA: Myokokogen Station.
- 07:20am. Bus, Myokokogen Station to Sasagamine Bus Stop.
- 08:10am. ETA: Sasagamine Bus Stop. Start hike.
- 01:15pm. ETA: Mt. Hiuchi (火打山)
- 02:30pm. ETA: Koya-ike Hut. Rest for the night.
- 07:00am. Start hike.
- 10:20am. ETA: Sasagamine Bus Stop.
- 11:30am. Bus, Sasagamine Bus Stop to Myokokogen Station.