I'm creating this log because I did both mountains in one weekend. :)
Budget: JPY18,740 (~USD125)
- JPY15,000. Bus, Tokyo < > Senryuusou.
- JPY2,740. Bus, Senryuusou < > Kitatouge
- JPY1,000. Tent fee.
- Pictures and profile of each hike is separate as I do not want to make this post extra long.
- Hiking buses are available, book here.
- It's all in Japanese, and if you're reading this blog and need help reading it, please leave a comment and I'll try to document the key words in this blog post to help you book. :)
- 11:00 pm. Bus, Takebashi Station to Senryuuso (仙流荘). But at the bus they say it goes to Todaiguchi (戸大口).
- 05:10am. ETA Senryuuso.
- We got there at 5:04 and there was already a couple hundred meters' line. From around 5:15am the line started moving as the shuttles start coming. Progress is really slow, and those with private cars keep the line as long as it was when I got there. Apparently there's a different line for the tickets. I noticed when the first round of shuttles have gone and left (5:40am) so it was a long wait until they are back. I dropped my bags and ran to the ticket place, did the cash option got my tickets at 5:45am and paid 2,740 yen. The line was maybe 5 mins longer but I was on a rush haha.
- 05:30am. Bus, Senryuuso to Kitazawatouge (北沢峠).
- 6:45am I finally was able to get on a bus. Don't get me wrong, the buses started a little before 5:30, but the line was so long, the eight (?) shuttles were full and gone and I still didn't get on.
- I would recommend sitting on the side of the driver for the gorgeous view of the valley. There's a point that the driver stops for ten seconds for the view of some mountains on the other side, but honestly I wasn't half as impressed as the valley. (spoiler alert, I was wrong, I think with good weather, the view of the mountains is better)
- 06:25am. ETA: Kitazawatouge. Find camp place, set up camp.
- We got there at 7:30am, I walked straight down to the camp spot (look for sign that says テント場 pronounced as tentoba). Went to the hut first to register, make sure you have an emergency contact not in the same group (shout out to Ken who doesn't know he's in a million hiking logs all over Japan). Paid JPY1,000, cash only, and got the little label to attach to my tent.
- The place is full, but half of them are leaving around 2pm after they finish their hike. But I wanted to set up my tent and drop my stuff so I found a place at the far end.
- 08:00am. Start hike.
- Started at 8:03! Yey. Quite straightforward, each fork well labeled in English and Japanese. The view at the little Senjo (Kosenjo /小仙丈) is the highlight for me, so don't skip that peak haha.
- There's a short but decent rock scramble going down from Kosenjo to Senjo, so if you are afraid of rock scramble I would recommend skipping this loop with Kosenjo.
- 11:51am. ETA. Summit, Senjogatake (仙丈ヶ岳).
- I think I had four false summits before reaching this effin summit. At one fork and the sign says still 20 minutes to the summit, I gave up and has my lunch. My feet were exhausted and every step was a struggle... it's not a Mt Senjo thing though, it's a me thing coz I haven't hiked in 3 weeks at this point.
- Arrived at 11:28, flew my drone. Continued my loop. This loop is much gentler, and except for the descent from the summit to the first hut, it was a pretty chill descent.
- 02:27pm. ETA. Back at the trailhead.
- I ended back at 02:40pm, taking the trail that goes back to the bus stop. Just because I haven't taken that trail haha.
*Note: a lot of people do this trail in reverse (counterclockwise). In terms of steepness, clockwise is the way to go. However, there are small stream crossings and chain sections (not technical but I can see how some people will be scared) on the areas near the huts + Kosenjo, so for people who are not comfortable with that, counterclockwise is the way to go. Personally, they're pretty normal and nothing sketchy, and would still recommend doing this clockwise.
- 05:00am. Start hike
- I left my tent around 4:55am, and the camping area was already wide awake.
- The entrance to the trailhead is back at the bus stop, so I went up there again for the... fourth time?
- Initial ascent was quite steep, but nothing too sketchy. At the fourth station (labeled Futago-yama), the view starts being visible.
- From 駒津峰 fork though, it's practically a scramble. I would recommend packing up your poles and putting gloves on instead. There's plenty of rock scramble and chains from here on, but the sketchiest ones are at the fork that can be skipped. I would say if you have tried Mt. Kentoku and are ok with it, then this is "dangerous" trail is also ok.
- 08:05am, I took the "dangerous" trail of the fork. 08:48am I summited (no breaks, but I'm pretty slow).
- 09:00am. ETA. Kaikomagatake (甲斐駒ヶ岳)
- 08:48 actually got there, sat down and took pictures. I have so much time to kill, my bus leaves at 4pm.
- 09:15am. Left the summit and did the loop. The "dangerous" trail will be crowded with people going up, so definitely do not recommend taking this down.
- 12:03pm. ETA. Back at hut.
- 12:18pm. Finally back at the camping spot. Packed up and rushed to the bus stop.
- The bus at this point doesn't follow the official time slots - basically they just keep the shuttles going.
- I arrived back at Senryuusou (which didn't have lunch at the time because they had an event or something), soaked in the onsen, and caught my 4pm bus back home.