Mt. Kirigamine (霧ヶ峰)

Mt. Kirigamine is the only Hyakumeizan that can be combined with a day on the slopes, as the top of the mountain is a 30 second walk from the top of the ski lifts!

Mt. Kurumayama

The hike: From the parking lot, head up to the ski resort. Follow the lift going up the left side of the mountain. Unfortunately, you’ll have to climb on the groomed runs, as the ski patrol don’t like you climbing off piste. Once you get to the top of this lift, cut over to the right and follow the other lift going higher up the mountain. Watch out for skiers and boarders as you cut across and also when you’re climbing through the resort. The top is at the top of this next lift. If the weather is good it’ll be impossible to miss, but because this mountains is called “fog peak” be prepared to ask someone if you can’t figure out where to go. Just behind the top of the highest lift is a meteorological observatory and a signpost marking the top of Kurumayama (車山). Isn’t is fitting that the top of “car mountain” should be accessible by car in the summer! If the weather is good, you’ll have outstanding views of Mt. Fuji, Mt. Tateshina, Yatsu-ga-dake, the Minami Alps, and Utsukushigahara. If the weather is foggy like it was when I climbed, then you’ll enjoy getting off this mountain as quickly as possible! I’ve heard there are some nice wildflowers and side trails to take a date on in the summer, but it’s also when this mountain is the most crowded. Take my advice and enjoy this peak in the winter, when few venture past the top of the lifts.

When to go: This hike can be done year round, but bring crampons during the winter so you can easily navigate through the ski resort.

Access: During the winter, there are direct night buses from Tokyo to Kuramayam-kougen ski resort (車山スキー場). In other seasons, catch a bus from Chino station (茅野駅). Click here for the bus schedule.

Live web cam: Click here


Level of difficulty: 1 out of 5 (elevation change 365m) This hike is a 0 out of 5 if you take the ski lift.

Explore posts in the same categories: Nagano hikes (長野県)

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5 Comments on “Mt. Kirigamine (霧ヶ峰)”

  1. StewartJ Says:

    Hi Wes

    I’m exploring whether it is possible to combine Kirigamine and Tateshina hikes in one day while using public transport from Chino to get to and between these trailheads during September. The Tateshina ‘Round Bus’ only does weekends/holidays in September.

    So the question I’m hoping you can answer is how far/how many hours are needed for this shortish Kirigamine hike starting from Kurumayama kougen as you describe here. If it is only a few km and the 365m up as you note, it may be doable in only a couple of hours for a quick walker – what do you think?

    • wes Says:

      My map says 2-1/2 from the Kogen bus stop to the summit. My usual hiking pace is half the map times, so I’m sure you could do it round-trip in less than 2 hours. Since you’re on a tight schedule you’ll be fueled by the adrenaline.

      • StewartJ Says:

        In the event, the timeframe was quite relaxed. I was up to the top of Kirigamine from the bus stop in about 45 mins, so there was plenty of time to enjoy the brilliant views and return to make the 11am bus to Tateshina tozanguchi and get up and down for the 3.40pm return to Chino. The key to making this work is starting with the 7.45am Round bus from the Alpico bus station (next to JR Chino).

  2. David Says:

    I went up Kurumayama on Saturday November 12th. The conditions were nearly perfect and they were only a handful of people on the mountain in this season (between the autumn colours and first snows).

    Most guidebooks recommend starting the hike from the parking lot at Kurumayamakata 車山肩駐車場, 5 km further from the ski resort. Alpico buses go there too apparently (I went by car). There is a small restaurant.

    Although the summit is only 30 minutes away and 200 meters higher you can do a 4 hour loop hike that will take you down to the Yashima marshes 200 meters lower to the West from where you need to climb back up to the parking lot, enabling you to work up a good sweat.

  3. phydi3kids Says:

    I enjoyed my hike up Kurumayama today. At first I went to the ski resort but it was all fake snow, surrounded by grass so I thought it was kinda crazy to put on my snow shoes and head up the side of the slopes.. I asked the guy working in the parking lot and he recommended that I get back in my car and drive further up the venus line road to the main hiking parking lot. I am glad I did. It was a nice short hike up from the parking lot (but much longer than if I had taken the lifts! ) the views were wonderful and constantly changing as the path winded up to the summit, and I was far away from the ski slope music on repeat :)

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