Mt. Daibosatsu (大菩薩岳)

Mt. Daibosatsu is a pleasant day hike through virgin forest, with magnificent views of Mt. Fuji and the Minami Alps. Its easy access from Tokyo makes it quite popular on weekends.

Mt. Daibosatsu (大菩薩岳)

The hike: From the bus stop, start hiking up the paved forest road and you’ll soon reach a trail junction at a place called Marukawatouge Bunki (丸川峠分岐). You can take either trail, as this is a loop hike, but it’s an easier hike if you climb the trail to the right and descend via the left trail. Anyway, the trail to the right basically follows the forest road, but goes through a beautiful beech forest, with nice views of the Minami Alps opening up between the foliage. It should take about 90 minutes or so to reach the first hut at Kamihikawatouge (上日川峠). From here it’s a very gentle hike along a forest road to 2 more huts. If you’ve got a car you can drive all the way to this point, but not during the winter season. Also, I’ve been told that only customers staying in the two huts are allowed vehicle access this far. Anyway, at Fujimisansou (富士見山荘) the trail splits and you’ve got 2 options. The trail on the left climbs directly to the peak, but take the one on the right so you can reach historic Daibosatsutouge (大菩薩峠). This used to be a famous mountain pass on the old Tokaido road, a path leading from Tokyo to Osaka. There’s another hut here. The trail splits in several directions , but stay left and climb toward Daibosatsurei (大菩薩嶺). It should take about an hour to reach the peak. Along the way, enjoy the awesome view of Mt. Fuji stretching out behind you. This place can get jam-packed on weekends, so choose your rock of choice to eat your lunch on. Just before reaching the true high point, the trail enters a forest. There’s no view from the actual peak, so make sure you take a break before getting there. After taking your obligatory photo, continue on the same trail and you’ll pass over to the other side of the mountain and start decending. In about an hour you’ll reach another hut by the name of Marukawasou (丸川荘). This is another good place for a snack break. The trail splits in 3, but head toward the left and in about an hour, you’ll be exactly where you started, at good ole Marukawatouge. When you get back to the bus stop, consider walking down the main road about a half a kilometer and you’ll reach a lovely hot spring appropriately called Daibosatsunoyu (大菩薩の湯). You probably spied it on the bus ride up. The only disadvantage of walking down here is that you’ll probably won’t be able to get a seat on the return bus because everyone got on at the trailhead bus stop!

When to go: The bus runs all year round, and the peak doesn’t get so much snow in the winter, so this one can be done any time of year.

Access: From Shinjuku station, take the JR Limited Express “Kaiji” train and get off at Enzan Station (塩山駅). The train takes about 90 minutes and costs around 3500 yen. There are lots of slower but cheaper options, so choose according to budget/start time. From Enzan Station, take a bus bound for Daibosatsutōge-tozanguchi (大菩薩峠登山口). The bus takes about a half an hour and costs the ridiculously low price of 300 yen, making it the one of the cheapest public bus in all of Japan. Click here for the schedule.  Likewise, Enzan station is only 20 minutes from Kofu station by local train, so Kansai-based hikers can do the hike in a weekend by taking a Kofu-bound overnight bus from Osaka.

Level of difficulty: 3.5 out of 5 (elevation change 1167m)

Explore posts in the same categories: Yamanashi hikes (山梨県)

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

9 Comments on “Mt. Daibosatsu (大菩薩岳)”

  1. casey Says:

    Thanks for putting together this fantastic online resource!!

  2. Arwen Says:

    Hi Wes, great write-up! Do you remember how long it takes to reach the summit and return to the trail head?

  3. beerhound2 Says:

    Going the other way (Marukawatouge Bunki (丸川峠分岐) to the hut on the top of Marukawa is quite a steep climb – I’d give that a 3 out of 5 I think. Be careful coming down as well. The trail is a weird mix of sand and clay that looks like it could be pretty slippery.

  4. Reza Says:

    So Imma going to be real here. This is NOT a 2 out of 5.

    I decided to plan this hike as a nice intermediate hike to start out my life in Yamanashi. Looking at this guide it’s about 5 hours max. Cool.

    Not only did it take 3 hours to make it to 上日川峠 (or so we thought) but it took a total of 4 and a half hours to reach the peak, and then another 3 or so hours to get down due to a path being blocked off. We had no way of knowing this and this explanation, though helpful for the landmarks was misleading in its difficulty. The climbing was steep and rocky and slippery due to clay and dirt, and it got dark by the time we were half way down making it very dangerous. We had to crawl over boulders and jump over trees and slide down rocks and waterways. There were also parts where the was very narrow (around a foot wide).

    It was still fun, and it was a hell of a hike but it is NOT a 2 out of 5. Not with the steepness and length of it. It’s easily a 3 out of 5. This isn’t a beginner hike and you do need to prepare for it with plenty of food water etc.

    • wes Says:


      Thanks for leaving the comment and sorry to hear that the hike was more difficult than you expected. I will revise the rating to a 3 out of 5. Thanks very much for your important feedback. When I did most of the hikes on this site I was in really good shape, but now as I get older I keep thinking I need to go back through and revise some of the grades.

      Please feel free to ask me about other hikes in the area before you attempt them and perhaps I can give you some very helpful advice.

      Best regards,


  5. japanhiking Says:

    There are a couple ways to do this mountain. One way is the way described by Wes, with the ascent and descent 1325m each (according to my Yamanashi hiking book). Personally I have hiked up from Kamihikawa pass and then down to the Daibosatsutouge mountain trail entrance with beginners in good shape and they didn’t have any trouble at all (most of the hike was descending though). I admit that the whole loop could have been somewhat tough for them.

    Another way is to simply do a loop hike from Kamihikawa pass. This is rated as a beginner hike in another hiking book that I have (556m up, 556m down, 3h30). There is a bus running from Kaiyamato 甲斐大和 station on the Chuo line. It’s possible that it didn’t exist when Wes first climbed this mountain. I did this hike yesterday in the snow – see here for a description and photos:

  6. Albert Says:

    Hi, I’m planning to visit this trail this December (around early 20th December). Would it be a nice day hike from Tokyo assuming I depart from Shinjuku at 9AM?? Will I make it back to Tokyo in the evening?

    • wes Says:


      Remember that the days are much shorter in December, so if you depart from Shinjuku around 9am you won’t arrive at the trailhead until 11:47am (if you catch the 11:20am bus from Enzan). As it will start to get dark around 4pm, you may want to consider starting much earlier or simply doing a quick hike up to Saibosatsu-toge and back.

      I hope that helps

      • Albert Says:

        Thanks for the advice!

        So what hike do you recommend around Kanto region near Tokyo which won’t take too much time?? Last December I did Kisen Alps (Yamanakadani) around 12AM and ended around 5 or 6PM, it worked!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s