Mt. Takazuma (高妻山)

Mt. Takazuma, the tallest peak in the Togakushi (戸隠) range, offers amazing views of Mt. Myoko and the Northern Alps. It’s also one of the only peaks in Japan where cattle can be seen grazing in the foothills.

summit of Mt. Takazuma

The hike:
From the bus stop, walk past the campground and through the cow pasture. The trail follows a small mountain stream and then climbs steeply up to the mountain ridge, where you will find an emergency hut in fairly good condition. It should take about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to reach this hut. From there, turn right and head toward Mt. Gojizo (五地蔵岳). The pyramid-shaped peak of Takazuma will come into view on your left. Follow the trail for about 40 minutes until you reach 八丁ダルミ。There is a lot of up and down before reaching this point. Takazuma will be directly in front of you, and it’s a steep, relentless climb for about an hour, but you’ll be rewarded with outstanding views. Bring a lunch and your camera. The top is very rocky but there are lots of places to sit and enjoy the scenery before going back the way you came. The entire hike should take between 6 and 8 hours.

When to go: I went in May and there was still lots of snow, so bring an ice axe and crampons. All of the snow usually melts by late June, and the fall colors are also beautiful. The first snow usually comes in early November.

Access: Take a Togakushi bound bus from Nagano station and get off at Togokushikyampujo (戸隠キャンプ場)The bus takes about an hour and the first one leaves Nagano at 7:00AM. (Nicely timed for the night buses from Osaka and Tokyo) Click here for the bus schedule.

Map: Click here

Level of difficulty: 4 out of 5 (elevation change: 1183m)

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3 Comments on “Mt. Takazuma (高妻山)”

  1. chris ward Says:

    hey man, nice site. I climbed Takazuma today and your information was pretty useful. Ever tried to get a job with Lonely Planet? Their Hiking in Japan guide looked a little sparse.


    • wesu Says:

      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad my information was somewhat useful.

      It’s funny you should mention Lonely Planet. They’ve just released a long-overdue update to the Hiking in Japan guide. I met with the lead author to give suggestions,and it looks much better than the first edition. Unfortunately, no new hikes were added (LP didn’t want to shell out the money to make new maps), but that’s ok, since there’ll be a market when I get my own guidebook completed (I’m working on a guidebook for the Hyakumeizan)

      • chris ward Says:

        Interesting you should say that. Whenever I travel I always buy a Lonely Planet to take with me and its always the maps that are the biggest let down. The Nagano City map, for example, shows the road up to Zenkoji and ignores the other 95% of the city.

        A shame to hear they’ve not added any new hikes. I had a look through a mate’s copy and was disappointed that they had so few in the Nagano area. Being predominantly a day hiker due to time constraints it was a shame to see most were for two days. If they had a wider range I would probably buy a copy. Never mind, I look forward to yours!

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