Mt. Hiuchi (燧岳)

Mt. Hiuchi is officially the tallest peak in the Tohoku region (although it’s just barely in Tohoku) and the crown jewel of Oze National Park. The reflections in Oze numa are mesmerizing and the views from the rocky summit spectacular.


The hike: From the parking lot at Numayamatoge (沼山峠), head into the forest across from the big hut and follow the red paint marks on the trees to the summit of Numayamatoge, which should take about 20 minutes or so. From the top of the mountain pass, you’ll see the big lake stretching out in front of you, and Mt. Hiuchi towering above to the right. Descend into the marshlands, where the trail will eventually take you to a small village with lots of huts. Check into Chozogoya (長蔵小屋), the oldest mountain hut in Japan. It makes for a wonderful place to stay, and you’ll enjoy the hot spring bath after the climb to the summit. From the hut, head back towards the way you just came from, but instead of going to Numayama, turn left and follow the forest trail that winds its way around the lake. After about 20 minutes you’ll reach a trail junction. Turn right to head up to Mt. Hiuchi. The trail starts off relatively flat, making its way through a dense forest before climbing up the spine of the volcano. The trail becomes steeper and steeper, and the views will start to open up. After about 90 minutes or so, you’ll start to see wonderful views over the lake out to Mt. Okushirane on your left, and nice vistas out to Aizu-komagatake to your right. You should also see the summit towering above you. Keep climbing up until you reach a rather large saddle just below the peak of Mt. Minobuchi (ミノブチ岳). This is the first of the 5 peaks of Mt. Hiuchi, so turn right and continue climbing up the steep, rocky spine to the second summit, named Manaitagura (俎嵓). Take a break and admire the incredible views out to Mt. Fuji on a clear day. The true summit is a rocky peak by the name of Shibayasugura (柴安嵓). Drop to the saddle between the peaks and up to the high point. It’s an easy enough climb in the summer, but absolutely terrifying during April and May when it’s a near vertical climb up a snow bank, so bring an ice axe and crampons if climbing in early summer. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You can traverse down to Jujiro (十字路) from here and turn left to head back to Chozo hut, or retrace your steps back to Manaitagura. If you’re only up for the day, then you can descend down to Mi-ike (or start/finish your hike there). I recommend heading back to Chozo hut so you can enjoy the mirror-like reflections in the lake and the wonderful food and bath.

When to go: This hike can be done from early June to late October, when the buses to Numayamatoge are running. If you climb Hiuchi via the Mi-ike (御池) trail, then you can climb from mid-April to late November, when the buses to Mi-ike are running. The paved forest road from Mi-ike to Numayamatoge is closed to private cars, and the road doesn’t open until May 15th. If you’re climbing during Golden Week, then you can either hike up the road for 10km to Numayama (which is what I did), or plan your climb from Mi-ike.

Access: From Shinjuku station, there are direct buses to Numayamatoge (沼山峠), the shortest and easiest access route to Oze numa. Click here for the schedule and prices (in Japanese). You can also get into Oze via Oshimizu (大清水) or Hatomachitoge (鳩待峠), but it’ll take a lot longer and a lot more effort to reach Mt. Hiuchi.

Live web cam: Click here

Level of difficulty: 4 out of 5 (elevation change ~700m).

Explore posts in the same categories: Archive

Tags: , , ,

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

11 Comments on “Mt. Hiuchi (燧岳)”

  1. Congratulations on a successful snowy assault! Was there anyone else up there?

    That final summit climb sounds like my kinda place, might have to give that one a shot next year :-)

  2. wesu Says:

    There were actually lots of people on the initial summit, but my friend and I were the first ones to climb to the high point. My wife stayed at the first peak to watch, and said lots of people were cheering us on (while drinking beer no less). Some brave ones followed in our footsteps once they realized that it could be done. On the decent I actually saw a group of 5 skiing down from the high point! If you want to escape the crowds, then do it in mid-April before Golden Week, when the snow should be a lot harder (and easier to climb up). It was a little too soft when we went, and if it were any slushier we definitely wouldn’t have made it.

  3. Well done, sounds awesome! Definitely putting this on the list for next April.

  4. Kea Says:

    Thanks for wonderful website

    Just wondering if it would be possible to do a traverse from Nikko NP through Oze (hitting as many summits as possible). Sorry, I haven’t been able to find any maps, or other info, so any comments would be helpful.

    • wesu Says:

      Yes, it’s entirely possible to do the traverse. You’ll be faced with a lot of up and down, though.

      From the summit of Oku-shirane, you’ll need to head northwest towards Konsei-toge (金精峠). Don’t descend towards route 120, but stay on the ridge line over to Mt. Nenakusa (根名草山) and descend to Shirane-sawa hot spring. There’s a hut here. Next it’s a traverse through the marshlands at Kinu-numa 鬼怒沼) and up and over the peak of the same name. Continue on the ridge line past Mt. Kuroiwa (黒岩山)and Mt. Akayasu (赤安山) and you’ll eventually end up at Oze-numa. The maps say to allow 8-1/2 hours from Shirane-sawa to Oze, so make sure you get an early start.

      Please let me know if you do this because I’m curious about the route/trail conditions.

      • Kea Says:

        Thanks, Wesu!

        Will be there in a week – hopefully the weather is good. I’ll let you know how I get on.

  5. eekessler Says:

    The direct bus from Shinjuku to Numayamatoge is a myth. It does not exist.

    • wes Says:

      thanks for the clarification about the Numayamatoge bus. It most certainly did exist as recent as 2007, but perhaps the bus is not running this year due to a decrease in the number of visitors to Oze (due to the Tohoku earthquake).

      Here is the information i was referring to:
      Perhaps this bus will be running next year after the situation in Tohoku improves.

      In the meantime, if you want to go to Oshimizu or Hatomachi-toge, you can stiff get there by direct overnight bus. Click on this link for more information:

  6. eekessler Says:

    I suppose things do change… For instance, last month I hiked Kumotori-san following the old version of the LP guide. My boyfriend and I were planning to take the Mitsumine Ropway up to the start of the hike, so we got off the bus at Owa. We found out then that the ropeway no longer exists (which we would have known if we had read your post on Kumotori!). In the end we waited over an our for the next bus. While waiting we chatted with a very gregarious old lady who owns a shop there that unfortunately no longer gets much business because of the ropeway closing.

    On the subject of Hiuchi, we ended up taking the first local train on the Tobu line from Asakusa to Aizu Kougen Ozeguchi Station. Then we took the bus from there (around 9:30) to Mi-ike (arriving sometime around 11am) and started the hike from there. We were able to make it to the summit and hike down to Miharashi where we stayed the night by 6pm.

  7. WinRAR Says:

    Went to hike Mt. Hiuchi but failed to get further than Chozogoya.
    Basically, the road to Numayamatoge is closed for private transport and only shuttle buses are available, which was completely unexpected (I am driving own car). Had to walk for about 2hrs up to the trail start. From Numayamatoge to Chozogoya and lake is about 1hr hike and my day was pretty much wasted.

    Day after I had to get back at around 8 in the morning to be able to get to Tokyo before roads got jam packed.

    I will definitely get back to climb the mountain, but I don’t really get a good impression from hikes in Japan – not due to the fact that I should have researched more and planned better, but because everything seems to be too artificial, fenced off and orderly..

  8. Jeannette Says:

    Is it possible to hike Mount Hiuchi according to the Sasagamine Bus timetable? i.e. arrive at Sasagamine 8am, and leave Sasagmine last bus at 4pm.

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