(草津白根山) Mt. Kusatsu-shirane Hike

This mountain confuses me, as there's no summit marker. 

Budget: JPY11,900 (~USD113)
  • JPY6,120. Round trip bus, Shinjuku Station to Nagano Station, using the Willer Bus Pass.
  • JPY2,380. Roundtrip train, Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station. (JPY1,190 one way)
  • JPY3,400. Roundtrip bus, Yudanaka  Station to Shirane-kazan Stop. (JPY1,700 one way)
Hike Date / Difficulty (Elevation: 2,160m / 7,087ft)
  • Target: 2020
  • Difficulty: 1 out of 5
  • Route below is around 6.3kilometers, with an elevation change of ▲518m/ ▽515m
  • PDF Map Link 

When to Go
I see no logs from late November til late April, which means even the Japanese don't hike during that period. I saw about three logs for February 2011, but I'd say those are outliers. 

Special Notes
  • There's no... summit? Just a loop around the area?
  • Weather forecast. 
  • Volcanic activity. Make sure that the current volcanic warning for Kusatsu Shirane is not at level 4 or 5. 
  • Trailhead. Just one.  
    • Shirane-kazan Bus Stop/Parking (白根火山). Here's the google maps pin
      • Train, Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station (湯田中駅).
      • Bus, Yudanaka Station to Shirane-kazan Bus Stop. Bus schedule here (just look for 【K】), JPY1,700 one way. As point of reference, for 2020, buses ran from April 21 to December 4, but was cancelled as of 2020 given the road restrictions. 
        • Bus schedule: There are five buses:
          • 08:10am -> 09:22am
          • 09:45am -> 10:57am
          • 10:45am -> 11:56am
          • 12:30pm -> 01:42pm
          • 02:00pm ->  03:12pm
        • Return buses are about 7-15 minutes from the arrival time above. 
Itinerary
  • 09:22am. ETA: Shirane-kazan Bus Stop. 
  • 09:30am. Start hike
  • 09:15am. Reach the lake.
  • 10:15am. Back to bus stop.

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