Omoteyama (Kasama Alps)

Extra details:

Extra details:

The full route from Iwama (岩間駅) to Fukuhara (福原駅) is well-marked, with white signposts for Kasama Wagakuni-Atago Hiking Trail at regular intervals. Be warned that it is a long route (15.8km) with a lot of up-down, so make sure you bring plenty of liquids and give yourself at least 4 hours (though it’ll probably take closer to 6).

Traverse route:

From Iwama station, follow the signs to Mt Atago. The video above describes the route to Mt Minami in great details. From Mt Minami stay on the main trail, following the signs toward Mt Nandai (難台山). After hiking up and down over a few undulating hills, the path drops steeply via fixed ropes to Dango-ishi Pass (団子石峠). Turn left on the paved forest road and then an immediate right (past a couple of parking spaces). It’s a long hike up to Mt. Nandai over a series of smaller peaks. Take your time and follow the signs as it leads past a number of boulders, especially Dango Boulder, Shishiga-han Boulder and Byobu Boulder. Just before the summit the terrain gets quite rocky and the broad summit is a great place for a break. You’re halfway there distance wise, so on the far side of the summit drop down the steep trail and up and over a few more hills until you drop down to another paved road at Dōrokushintōge (道祖神峠). Follow the signs and pass through a forest briefly before reaching a red-roofed structure and some green signposts for Wagakuni (ハイキングコース吾国山頂). Climb up and cross over the forest road where it is a very steep and hard climb to the summit. The top is marked by a rustic shrine and it overlooks the mountains of Oku-Nikko. You can see Mt. Nasu, Mt. Nantai, Mt. Okushirane, Mt. Hiuchi, and Mt. Sukai on a clear day. From here take the trail to the right of the shrine (if you are facing the building) and drop through a forest of towering beech trees. There are roped off walkways here that meander past all of the big trees, but you’ll basically want to head down past a small pond and into the forest. After 30 minutes you’ll reach the edge of a village and will pop out into civilization. Continue following the signposts as they take you to Fukuhara station.


Iwama station takes about 2 hours from Ueno on the JR Jōban line. Fukuhara station is also about 2 hours from Tokyo. You may find it faster to change to the Kanto Railway train at Shimodate station (下館駅) instead of staying on the JR Mito line all the way. If you change at Shimodate, take the train to Moriya (守谷) station, where you can change to the Tsukuba Express for Akihabara. Otherwise you’ll need to change back to the JR Jōban line at Tomobe station.

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