Planning a safe and enjoyable hike
Plan your hike in advance by looking at the map and checking the course times, mountain huts/tent sites as well as places where you can purchase water and drinks. The trails and huts can become very crowded during the holidays and autumn peak season. Make reservations early and allow for extra time during your hike. All hikers are also required to submit a “Hiking Registration Form” which can be downloaded from the following website: http://www.go-nagano.net/climbing.
We also kindly ask you to abide by the following rules and manners when hiking in Japan:
- Please give the right of way to hikers climbing up the mountain and be careful not to drop loose rocks onto hikers below you.
- All garbage must be carried home with you.
- Do not throw away any food on the mountain including liquids and soups in order to protect the local wildlife.
- Stay on the trail at all times to prevent damage to the surrounding vegetation. This includes when you stop to take a break or stop to let other hikers pass.
- This area is a designated National Park. Taking wildlife and plants without permission is strictly prohibited.
- Please do not feed the wildlife as it can result in unwanted animal encounters and attacks.
- Pets (including dogs) are not allowed on the trails.
Weather in The Northern Japan Alps
The best time for hiking is from the end of July until the end of September. In the summer, temperatures can surpass 30°C at the bottom of the mountain but can be more than 15°C colder at higher altitudes. Rain and thunderstorms are frequent in the afternoon and there can be blizzards on some days as well. The mountains are covered in snow from October until June.
Average monthly temperatures within
the Nothern Japan Alps – Mt.Tsubakuro (in usual years)
*This data is calcaltated from Hotaka Azumino City Nagano Prefecture average monthly lowest and highest tempratures (2016).
When doing an overnight hike, you can either bring your own tent or stay in a mountain hut. If you are a beginner, staying in a mountain hut is recommended as meals and bedding (futons) will be provided. It will also make for a much easier hike as you will need to carry less gear up the mountain.
Rules for staying in a tent
- Tents must be set up within the designated camp areas. Do not camp outside of these areas.
- Register and pay your tent site fee at the adjacent mountain hut upon arrival. Note that some tent sites also require fees to use the toilet and for fresh water.
- Please be considerate and be quiet at night so as not to wake up other hikers.
- There are no garbage bins. All garbage must be taken home with you.
Rules for staying in a mountain hut
- Reservations should be made by email or phone beforehand.
- Plan your hike to arrive at the lodge by at least 3 p.m.
- Meals are served at set times usually between 6:00 – 6:30pm. The mountain huts have limited meal plans and are not able to accommodate special meal requests. If you have allergies or require special foods, it would be best to bring your own.
- Please be aware that if the hut is crowded especially during busy season, you may be required to share one futon between two people.
- The lights will be turned off at a set time. Please be considerate and be quiet once the lights are turned off as well as early in the morning.
The Daitenso Mountain Hut atop Mt. Otensho. Many of the mountain huts in the Northern Japan Alps have a common sleeping area, dining room and gift shop where you can purchase snacks, drinks and souvenirs.