(霧ヶ峰) Mt. Kirigamine Hike

Mt. Kirigamine's highest point is called Mt. Kuruma (or Kuruma-yama), and I'm not sure how I feel about it given it is a two hour hike, with more than 6 hours' travel time. It is recommended to do this with the nearby Mt. Tateshina, but the time restrictions make it a logistical nightmare. 

Budget: JPY5,410 (~USD51)
  • JPY3,000. One day's bus pass for Chino to trailhead access.
  • JPY2,410. One day's worth allocated with Seishun 18 ticket. (if from Tokyo)
Hike Date / Difficulty (Elevation: 1925m / 6,316ft)
  • Target 2021
  • Difficulty: 1 out of 5
  • Route below is around 4.7kilometers, with an elevation change of ▲129m/ ▽376m
  • Map Link


When to Go
Anytime during the year, but on winter this becomes a ski area.

Special Notes
  • Weather check: English / Japanese
  • Trailhead: Kurumayama-kata OR Kuramayama-kogen. They are one stop away from each other, so the logistics don't really change.
    • Kirigamine Interchange (霧ヶ峰インターチェンジ).
    • Yashima-shitsugen(八島湿原).
    • Higashi-Shirakabako (東白樺湖).
    • Kuramayama-kata (車山肩).
    • Kurumayama-kogen (⾞山⾼原).
      • Access as follows:
        • Train/Bus, Tokyo to Chino Station. 
          • By Train. JPY3,410 one way, earliest time of arrival is 08:48am. JPY2,410 if with Seishun 18 ticket
            By Bus. JPY3,500 one way, earliest time of arrival is 10:10am. Reservation and timetables here
        • Bus, Chino Station to Kurumayama-kata and Kurumayama-kogen.
      • JPY1,600 one way to Kurumayama-kata, JPY1,350 one way to Kurumayama-kogen. They have a bus pass (unlimited buses) of JPY3,000 for a day or JPY4,000 for two days. Just buy it at the bus center right next to the bus stop.
    • Schedule differs on whether it's a weekend/holiday or a weekday, so be careful. The pdf in the schedule is a bit long so below's the summary (weekend schedule). 
Bus schedule, Chino Station < > Kuramayamakogen / Kuramayamakata


Itinerary
  • 04:30am ish. Train to Chino Station.
  • 08:48am. ETA Chino Station. Take West Exit (西口), bus stop 3.
  • 09:20am. Bus, Chino Station to Kuramayamakata.
  • 10:22am. ETA: Kuramayama-kata
  • 10:30am. Start hike.
  • 12:00pm. ETA: Kuramayama-kogen
  • 01:32pm. Bus, Kuramayama-kogen to Chino Station.
Actual Log
I did this hike during a four day weekend, but definitely doable as a dayhike. 
  • Train, Matsumoto Station to Chino Station. 
  • 07:33am ish. Arrived at Chino Station. Followed the signs for West Exit (西口). The counter to buy tickets were closed due to shortened hours for covid. But there's a girl that came at 7:50am, and she sells the bus passes directly. I bought the two day pass from her. 
  • 07:55am. Bus, Chino Station to Kuramayama-kogen. 
  • 08:55am. Arrived at Kurumayama-kogen. I walked across the Skypark with the chair lifts. The trailhead is on the far end. It was a very gentle ascent (if it was even and ascent?), until I got to the first chair lift, at which point it got a little bit steeper, but still not steep. 
  • 10:24am. Arrived at Kurumayama-summit, which has a big white ball, a shrine, and a deck. The summit marker is behind that white ball. I took plenty of pictures then continued on. 
  • 11:25am. Arrived at Kurumayama-kata. 
  • 11:40am. Bus, Kuramayama-kata to Chino Station.
  • 12:50pm. Arrived at Chino Station. 
  • 01:05pm. Train, Chino Station to Kami-Suwa Station. I found a place to eat lunch in, walked around the lake a bit, then went to my hotel. 



At Chino Station, I followed the signs for the bus at the West Exit. 


And dropped by bag to "fall in line" at bus stop 3. 

Bought the two day pass. 

Bus going to Kuramayama-kogen. 

Kurayamayama-kogen. The trailhead is on the far end here. 

Starting my hike!

It was fairly flat. 

Slowly getting steeper. But still mainly flat. Looking back at the gorgeous view. 

Ok, a lot steeper, but still not steep. This was the last push up the summit. 

Summit marker!

Another summit marker!

Going down. 

Oh, a flower field!

Beautiful, isn't it? 

At Kurayama-kata. I walked a little bit further in so I can take a picture of the summit (the white ball) with the facilities at the trailhead. 

At the bus stop. You can still see the summit (white ball)

Had lunch near Lake Suwa. 

Lake Suwa. 

Still Lake Suwa. That's a big lake. 

    Comments

    1. I did this during summer, it was a nice getaway from Tokyo's heat.

      I would recommend doing a 2-day, 1-night trip to do this + another nearby mountain. I did Mt Nyukasa to see alpine flowers on the first day, overnight stay by Lake Suwa at a cheap hotel, and did Kirigamine on the 2nd day. There are plenty of inns or hostels around the area so it shouldn't cost too much to do an overnight stay.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Did you drive? I am actually thinking of doing this with Mt. Tateshina too, but was considering doing a winter one, probably in February or March.

        Delete

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