Suwa's Mt. Fuji (because of course everything cone shaped is Mt. Fuji-ish), this is definitely a have-your-own-car kind of mountain, so I would recommend just finding a group of people to rent a car with to do this.
Budget: JPY9,570 (~USD87)
- JPY6,820. Train, Tokyo Station <> Chino Station (JPY3,410 one way)
- OR JPY4,820. Roundtrip train fare, assuming use of Seishun 18 ticket. (2 days' worth)
- JPY1,400. Bus, Chino Station > Tateshina-tozanguchi
- JPY1,350. Bus, Ryugenbashi > Chino Station.
- OR Bus pass available at JPY3,000 for a day, or JPY4,000 for two days.
- July 25, 2021. I did this hike as part of my Matsumoto/Chino hikes, but would recommend doing this over a weekend with Mt. Kirigamine.
- Difficulty: 3 out of 5.
- Route below is around 7.4kilometers, with an elevation change of ▲835m/ ▽908m
- Map Link
When to Go
Anytime during the year, but given the steepness of the trails, avoid at all costs when raining.
Winter wise, one of the trailheads has a gondola for the ski season, so I'm wondering if this can be done during winter.
- Weather check: English / Japanese.
- Okawara (大河原峠). No public transportation, with camping spot.
- Gosensui-shizen-en(御泉水自然園). This seems to be the main trail, as most logs I check use this trail. And not really accessible by public transportation, but let me try.
- Train, Tokyo Station to Chino Station. JPY3,410 one way, earliest arrival is 08:48am. The next one arrives at 09:23am.
- Bus, Chino Station (茅野駅) to Higashi-Shirakabako (東白樺湖) A bit hard to find, but probably around here. JPY1,350 one way, 40 minutes. Go to this bus schedule and look for "白樺湖・⾞山⾼原・霧ヶ峰線". It's JPY1,000, 40 minutes one way. West exit, bus stop 3. Bus schedule below.
- Chino Station -> Higashi-Shirakabako (東白樺湖) .
- 07:55am -> 08:41am
- 09:20am -> 10:00am
- 10:20am -> 11:06am
- 12:35pm -> 01:21pm
- 01:45pm -> 02:31pm
- 02:55pm -> 03:41pm
- 04:10pm -> 04:55pm
- 05:50pm -> 06:35pm
- Higashi-Shirakabako (東白樺湖) -> Chino Station
- 06:32am -> 07:20am
- 07:02am -> 07:50am
- 09:22am -> 10:10am
- 11:02am -> 11:50am
- 11:44am -> 12:32am
- 02:02pm -> 02:50pm
- 03:12pm -> 04:00pm
- 04:27pm -> 05:15pm
- 05:32pm -> 06:20pm
- Bus, Higashi-Shirakabako (東白樺湖) to Tateshina Bokujou (蓼科牧場), google maps pin. JPY200 yen one way, but for free for 2020.
- Since the last bus leaves at 2:26, even had you skipped the lunch it's going to be difficult to be back on time for dayhikes. The option now is to take a taxi back,to Higashi Shirakabako, which based on this, is around JPY1,990.
- Gondola, Tateshina Bokujou to Gosensui-shizen-en(御泉水自然園). JPY530 on way, JPY920 roundtrip, around 5-10 minutes one way, operations from 9am to 4:30pm.
- Tateshina-tozanguchi (蓼科登山口). Sounds like the official trail, and seems to be the steepest one. I saw a lot of people using this trail.
- ONE bus per day leaves Chino Station (West Exit, bus stop 2) and there's two return buses, the afternoon bus timed with the expected hiking period (5 hours 40 minutes). JPY1,400, 100 minutes one way.
- NOT an option if you are coming from Tokyo, as the bus leaves at 7:40am. But if you are staying nearby then this is the ideal one.
- Bus Schedule here. Bus only available once a day, and runs mid July to October.
- Basically they expect hikers to start at 8:53am, and be done by 2:50pm.
- Right next to this is another trailhead - 竜源橋. This is the bus stop (same bus) right next to Tateshina-tozanguchi, which is an option if you don't wish to backtrail.
- Another trailhead on the same bus is Kita-yatsugadake Ropeway (北八ヶ岳ロープウェイ). One way is JPY1,200, roundtrip JPY2,100. Bus Schedule here. This bus is available throughout the year. But it's a long way from here to Tateshina summit.
Bus schedule, Chino Station (茅野駅) < > Tateshina Trailhead (蓼科山登山口)
- Mountain huts.
- Paid: Tateshina Sanchou Hut (蓼科山頂ヒュッテ), with English website. Reservations online, JPY7,000 per night with no meals.
- Free. None.
- Camping spots are a bit far, but it's there!
- 07:00am. Arrival, Chino Station. Exit via West Exit (西口), look for bus stop 3. Probably will have to go to the Alpico Bus Office right next to it and buy the ticket in advance.
- 07:20am. Bus, Chino Station to Tateshina Tozanguchi.
- 08:53am. Arrival, Tateshina-tozanguchi.
- 09:00am. Start hike.
- 12:00pm. ETA, Summit. No time for lunch. If not at the summit yet by 12:00pm, then will need to backtrail and go back to Tateshina-tozanguchi. Last time to start backtrailing is 12:30pm. If continuing on to Ryugenbashi, I have to be on my way by 12:00pm.
- 02:40pm. ETA: Ryugenbashi (竜源橋).
- 02:53pm. Bus, Ryugenbashi to Chino Station
- 04:34pm. ETA: Chino Station. Take the train back to Tokyo.
- 07:05am. Train, Kami Suwa Station to Chino Station.
- 07:13am. Arrived at Chino Station. Exit via West Exit (西口), look for bus stop 2.
- 07:20am. Bus, Chino Station to Tateshina Tozanguchi. The bus basically goes all over the place visiting al hotels etc. Ugh.
- 08:53am. Arrived at Tateshina-tozanguchi. The trailhead is right across the bus stop. Started hike. The hike started deceptively easy, but then the steep ascent started, and never really ended except for a break here and there. I was climbing with my hands, and I can only imagine how slippery the rocks could be in rainy weather. The last leg of the hike was pretty sketchy. I would not bring a beginner here, at least using this trail.
- 11:08am. Arrived at the summit. With a 12pm cut off, I had plenty of time, so I flew my drone for a bit, and resumed my hike down the mountain huts. The descent was as steep as the ascent - so my arms had plenty of exercise. The steep rocky section ended at Tateshina Hut though. After that, it was mainly gravel-y descent.
- 12:50pm. Arrived at the fork - to the left was Okawara, to the right was Ryugenbashi. I turned right. From here on it was a mainly flat, though bushy, path. Took the time to fly my drone again.
- 02:05pm. Arrived at Ryugenbashi (竜源橋). Sat down at the nice rock beside the bus stop, and waited for the bus.
- 02:53pm. Bus, Ryugenbashi to Chino Station. But the bus drive told me that it will be faster if I transfer at Ishisudai-bessochi (石臼台別荘地), so he dropped me off there at 02:59pm, and the bus from came at 3:01pm.
- 03:55pmish. Arrived at Chino Station, and looked for a place for dinner.
- 04:45pm. Train, Chino Station to Tokyo.
|Back at Chino Station! This time bus stop 2!|
|Inside the bus.|
|Passing through the ropeway.|
|Some parking lots along the way.|
|Bus stop! The trailhead is right across the road.|
|Here it is.|
|The ascent is starting.|
|This is the first taste of the rocky ascent. This is about to get a LOT steeper.|
|Plenty of signs all over the place.|
|Some of the trail was really mossy.|
|The final push.|
|Ok, this was the final push. But this was very sketchy, and I am reminded that I am afraid of heights. T.T|
|There's the summit! Once you see the people, just go up!|
|The hut about 30 meters away from the summit marker.|
|Continuing on my hike.|
|Beautiful view down.|
|That was a steep descent. Had to use my hands a lot.|
|Yup, still steep.|
|From here on the path is not as steep.|
|Some gravelly section.|
|Some bushy section.|
|At two sections, the path opens up and you can see Mt. Tateshina!|
|Oh, done! That's the road right there. I turned left.|
|And arrived at the bus stop.|
|Back at Chino Station, I had Yatsugatake burger!|