Mt. Kumotori (雲取山)

Mt. Kumotori is the highest peak in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, and part of Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park. The views out to Mt. Fuji aren’t half bad either.

The hike: Mitsumine shrine is one of the most beautiful mountain shrines in Japan, and it also happens to have its own hot spring bath (did anyone mention doing this hike in reverse?!). The trail towards Mt. Kumotori starts from the parking lot, and it’s very clearly marked. You’ll be on the ridge the entire day, so just keep following the signs. Your first target will be Kirimo-ga-mine (霧藻ケ峰), which has fine views out to Mt. Asama. Continue on the ridge, passing up and over Mt. Shiraiwa (白岩山). You’ll pass by Shiraiwa hut (白岩小屋), which makes for a good place to stay if you’ve gotten a late start or if the weather is bad. It should take another 90 minutes or so to reach Mt. Kumotori, passing by the old, rotting Kumotori hut before reaching the newer, luxurious one. If you’re hiking in the winter you’ll appreciate the kotatsu tables in the tatami rooms. It costs 7500 yen with 2 meals or 5000 yen without meals. Click here for the hut web site. If you’re short of money and would like a free place to stay, continue another 10 minutes and stay at the emergency hut on the summit. It’s in good shape, but you’ll need a sleeping bag and food. There’s a water source at Kumotori hut, but nothing between Mitsumine shrine and the hut, so bring plenty of water for the first day. If the weather is good, then you’ll have a stunning view out to Mt. Fuji for most of the hike to Okutama. You’ve actually got 2 options from the summit. You can descend via Mt. Nanatsuishi (七ツ石山) by taking a left at the emergency hut, or take the trail behind the hut to descend to Sanjo-no-yu (三条の湯), a hut with its own hot spring. If you take this alternative route, then you’ll have to walk on a forest road for about 2-1/2 hours before reaching route 411. Either way, you’re in for a 4 to 6 hour hike before making it back to civilization. Okutama has a great hot spring bath called Moeginoyu (もえぎの湯). Click here for the website.

When to go: Because Kumotori Hut (雲取山荘) is open year round, this hike can be done any time of the year. Bring crampons if hiking before April. I did this hike in March and there was about 1 meter of snow on the summit.

Access: From Ikebukuro (池袋) station in Tokyo, take a train on the Seibu line to Seibu-Chichibu station (西武秩父駅). From there, take a bus bound for Mitsumine Shrine (三峯神社) and get off at the terminus. Click here for the bus schedule. Please note that the Mitsumine Ropeway has ceased operation, so you can either get off at the Owa (大輪) bus stop and hike on the trail next to the gondola, or start your hike from the shrine. The hike ends at Okutama (奥多摩), where you can easily take a train back to Tokyo.

Level of difficulty: 2 out of 5 (elevation change ~500m). It’s a 4 out of 5 if you do this hike in reverse, as you’ve got a 1400m vertical climb.

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13 Comments on “Mt. Kumotori (雲取山)”

  1. I did this one the other way around, ending at Mitsumine – as you say, having the onsen at the finish is great! But it does mean a long drag up the other side of the mountain the previous day.

    The first time I made an (aborted due to lightning on the ridge!) attempt on Kumotori though I started from the bottom of the ropeway and walked up. I wouldn’t really recommend it. It’s around 800 vertical metres of switchback through the forest, which is rather interminable…

  2. pipo Says:

    Thank you for the description.

    Did the hike this weekend, starting from Mitsuminejinja. (staying at mitsuminejinja is a nice option if you have the time and money to spare)
    Nice trail up the mountain, with alternating views of Mitsumine valley. First snow had fallen the previous day making the forest extra beautiful.
    Stayed at the Kumotori hut for the rest of the day and night. And got up early the next day to see the sun rise over Tokyo and have excellent views of mnt. Fuji and the Japanese Alps from the top of Kumotori and on the way down to Okutama.
    Took a after hike hot bath in Moeginoyu onsen..great!

    Would agree after making the descent to Okutama via Nanatsuishi, doing the hike in reverse would seem to be a less pleasurable experience.

    • sanks Says:

      Hi Pipo
      Thanks for the details. Was there any need for you to use crampons ? I am planning to do this hike in the third week of december. Guess possibly more snow around this time.

      • pipo Says:

        hi sanks,

        When i went crampons were not yet necessary. Although I saw a few people using them. I think they might come in handy later in December (you can call Kumotori hut to ask for details).
        If there is snow it gets trampled into ice quickly with the number of people ascending Kumotori.

  3. sanks Says:

    Thanks for the info Pipo.

  4. Arwen Says:

    I hiked Kumotori in August of 2012, on my own with barely any Japanese ability. I was able to email the hut to make my reservation with the help of google translate and my conversational Japanese.

    All I can say is, I’m glad I did this hike (2/5) rather than one of the more challenging hikes. I am a novice at hiking, but I am quite fit, running every day. I increased the length of my runs in the lead up to the hike and changed my route to include a lot more hills, but the hike was still a big challenge.

    The way up was great. Hard, but great, and I was astounded by the scenery the whole way. The hut was a welcome break at the end of the day, and the meal was very satisfying. Having a futon to sleep on and a hot breakfast made my trek the next morning seem more manageable. The owner of the lodge was very friendly and explained things clearly enough in Japanese for me to get the gist of the routines.

    I followed the route suggested by Lonely Planet to get to Okutama by foot on the second day, and I strongly recommend against that. I took the Japanese map along with me too, which recommended a different route ending on a highway where you would take a bus to Okutama, and if I were to do this again, that is definitely the route I would take. The way down all the way on foot in long, and after the first 3 hours, it is boring. The hike became more of a slog and less of something I was enjoying. Even though the first day was more physically demanding because of the climb, the second day was the day where I really suffered.

    Do yourself a favour and buy the Japanese map and follow it. It has water top-up spots that the Lonely Planet manages to miss and gives a more realistic estimate of how long it takes to hike each section.

    • i3ok3n Says:

      Hey Arwen,
      Thanks for the heads. Sounds like I need to step up my training😀.

      I’m planning on climbing Kumotori soon. Do you know where I can buy the Japanese map?

  5. Ijon Tichy Says:

    I did this one in early Summer this year, caught a bus from Okutama station to Kamosawa, took about 3.5 hours to reach the summit, and then returned the way I came in about 2.5 hours, and caught the bus back to Okutama. So definitely doable as a day trip from Tokyo as long as you don’t mind the early start (I was at Kamosawa around 9:30am). Bus accepts your PASMO card, too.

  6. ian Says:

    Thanks for posting this up. I’m doing a short scouting-out of this today and will return lately for an overnight camping trip. I just wanted to point out that 西武秩父駅 and 秩父駅 are different stations and that it’s 三峯神社, not 三峰神社. Great job with the site otherwise!

    • wes Says:


      Many thanks for the detailed comment with the trail corrections. I’ll make the necessary changes to the trail description to reflect your feedback.



  7. Juan Says:

    Hey Wes,

    I am planning to do this hike mid-april, probably starting around lunch time as I am leaving from Kanazawa.

    How long approximately does it take from the shrine up the hut? Would you advise to take crampons?


    • wes Says:


      The hike from Mitsumine shrine to Kumotori hut is 13km and will take you several hours at least. The snow should all be melted by mid-April (or at least soft enough to where you won’t need crampons).

      David has more details about the hike on his excellent blog as well. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve climbed Kumotori, so I don’t remember much except for all of the snow in mid-March!

      I hope this helps and I hope you have good weather for your hike.



  8. Noah Says:

    Climbed in mid-April. Generally agree with then 2/5 difficulty rating, however since you are out on a ridge for most of the climb the difficulty ramps up when the weather is bad. It was raining for most of the first day for me and so bitterly cold and very miserable.

    Transport from Tokyo has very tight margins. If you miss the very early trains, you are probably going to have to give up the climb, since the connecting bus to the mountain will be late (the busses also do not run around lunch time). Very much advise waking up early and taking a 5-6 am train from Tokyo. I started my climb at around noon and it was a rush to get up.

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