Japan Alps Update: COVID-19

Last updated: July 20, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things are far from normal in the Japan Alps. Not only have most huts reduced capacity, but others have opted to remain closed for the entire duration of the hiking season. Those planning trips to the Japan Alps should plan well in advance and keep in mind that nearly all accommodation, including campsites, require advance booking.

The following information will be continually updated and is subject to change. Listings are based on the treks outlined in our Japan Alps guidebook, so please reference it when planning your hikes.

Kita Alps

Walk 1 – Mt Shirouma-dake (campsite and hut by advanced booking only)

The trails to Mt Shiouma-dake are currently open, but the hut capacities and tent space availability are limited. Hakuba-jiri-goya will be closed for the duration of the 2021 hiking season, so those planning on drinks/snacks before climbing the Daisekkei should keep this in mind.

Hakuba-chojō-shukusha is currently open for business. This year a tent site costs 1500 yen while overnight accommodation with two meals is now 12,000 yen. Bookings for both the campsite and the hut can be made here or by calling 0261-75-3788 in Japanese.

Sarukurasō is currently open for business and is selling supplies to hikers heading for the summit. Those interested in staying at the hut are advised to contact them directly (0261-75-3788) to inquire about availability. Don’t just show up expecting a room for the night or you may be sleeping in the adjacent public toilet.

Hakuba Sansō is currently open for business, but advanced bookings are required to stay in the hut.  For bookings, please see the latest schedule for space availability (Japanese site).

For the alternative route via Hakuba Oike, be advised that Hakuba Ōike sansō requires advanced bookings for both campers and hut guests. A tent space costs 1500 yen and overnight accommodation with two meals costs 12,000 yen per night. Masks are required in the hut, as well as a sleeping bag cover, inner sheet, and pillow cover. These covers are sold at the hut for an extra 1000 yen. Bookings can be made if you read Japanese by first checking availability and then booking here.

My advice: Avoid exposing yourself to crowds in the hut and consider doing Mt Shirouma-dake as a day hike if you’re fit and fast. Otherwise, book a tent space and stay clear of other groups. Be advised that camp sites for weekends in August are almost fully booked so plan accordingly.

Trek 1 – Mt Shirouma-dake and Hakuba-Yari Onsen (Closed)

The trail between Sarukura and Hakuba-Yari Onsen is currently closed, with no plans to reopen in 2021. Hakuba-Yari Onsen-goya will be closed for the remainder of 2021 along with access to the hot spring bath. The path from the ridge down to the hut is also roped off, so avoid please avoid this return route to Sarukura. Instead, please follow the instructions for Walk 1 in the guidebook and return via the Daisekkei or via Hakuba Ōike and Tsugaike.

Walk 2 – Mt Tateyama (open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect)

After being closed due to a landslide, the main route up Tateyama from Ichinokoshi has now reopened. According to the Twitter feed, there is now a rerouted section just below Oyama summit, so follow the signage and paint marks accordingly.

The Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route (currently celebrating its 50th anniversary)  is currently running, but with special measures to help prevent COVID-19 infection. Be sure to budget extra time for access to Murodō, especially during the weekends and on holidays. Please wear a mask and make use of the alcohol disinfectant where provided, and avoid traveling to Tateyama if you experience a fever or any other symptoms of infection. The cable car from the Toyama side of the route can get very crowded on weekends. Consider booking an advanced ticket here to avoid being turned away.

Mikuri-ga-ike Onsen hut opened on July 1st, but advanced reservations are required. The hut has asked visitors to avoid staying in groups larger than three. Masks are required for all visitors, and alcohol disinfectant has been installed at the entrance. Please use it upon entry. The hot spring is open for day-trippers as well, but a mask is required to enter the building. Online bookings in English can be made here.

Raichōsawa hut and campground are currently open and the hut requires advance booking. The campground does not require advanced booking but spaces are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so show up early to obtain the best sites. Hut bookings can be made by calling 076-463-1835.

Walk 3 – Mt Oku-dainichi-dake (open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect)

See Walk 2 above. Those continuing past the summit to Shōmyō Falls should be aware that Dainichi-goya requires advanced booking. Call the hut directly at 090-3291-1579 to make a booking.

Trek 2 – Mt Tsurugi-dake (open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect)

Tsurugi-gozen-goya is currently open, in addition to an advanced booking, a mask is required for all guests. Alcohol sales are currently under consideration for the 2021 hiking season. Call 080-8694-5076 to make a booking.

Tsurugi-sawa-goya is currently open for business, but an advanced booking is required. Tatami rooms have been partitioned with plywood dividers to help spread infection. Masks are also required. Tsurugi-sawa campground is also open, with spaces allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced bookings are not required. Call 080-1968-1620 to book the hut.

Kenzan-sō is open for business, albeit with a 50% reduction in capacity as a COVID countermeasure. Advanced bookings are required. This is the closest hut to the trailhead and will surely fill up quickly this summer. Hut availability can be found here a. After checking, call the hut directly at 090-2372-5799 or try the management office at 076-482-1564. Alternatively, you can try e-mailing the hut at kenzanso55@gmail.com .

Hayatsuki-goya will be open for the 2021 hiking season. Overnight accommodation with two meals costs 12,000 yen   and your own sleeping bag is required. It is a bare-bones hut with no running water. Tent spaces are limited and cost 1000 yen per person per night. For bookings, call the hut directly at 090-7740-9233. 

Trek 3 – North Alps traverse (open for experienced, self-sufficient campers only. Huts en route have limited capacity and many are already fully-booked )

Stage 1

Goshiki-ga-hara sansō hut is currently open for business with a capacity of just 40 guests per night. Advanced bookings are required, and currently the hut is completely booked for most of July and August. Campers are advised to time their treks so they avoid camping during the weekend, as the campsite is expected to be unusually crowded. Advanced bookings for campers are not required, but early arrival is essential to secure a favorable tent location.

Stage 2

Sugo-no-koshi-goya hut is open for business but advanced booking is required. Campers do not require a booking but are advised to show up early to claim a site, as capacity is limited. Yakushi-dake sansō hut is accepting guests with advanced booking only. Yakushi-tōge campground is also open, but is expected to be unusually crowded this summer. Campers are advised to show up early to secure a favorable tent location. Tarōdaira-goya hut is open for with reduced capacity for those with advanced bookings.

Stage 3/4

Both Kurobegorō-goya and Sugoroku-goya (and the campgrounds) are now open for business. Advanced bookings are required for both campers and hut guests. Campers can check availability and make bookings on this site . Alternatively, call Kurobegorō-goya at 080‐1588‐1606 and Sugoroku-goya at 577-34-6268 to make  bookings and inquiries (in Japanese). Tent sites cost 2000 yen per person per night.

Yari-ga-take sansō hut is currently open for those with an advanced booking, but a mask is required. In addition, guests are encouraged to bring their own alcohol disinfectant and a thermometer and to check their temperatures daily. Tent sites do not require advanced bookings but be aware that camping now costs 2000 yen per person per night. The hut accommodation fee has been raised to 13,000 yen per night with two meals.

Stage 5

The route to Kamikōchi is currently open to hikers, but all huts require advanced bookings.

Walk 4 – Mt Yake-dake (open)

Yake-dake-goya hut is now open, but advanced booking is required. While Yake-dake can be done as a day hike from Kamikōchi, hikers should be aware that Yakedake is an active volcano subject to sudden weather changes. Make a call about whether to attempt the summit after reaching the hut. Hut bookings can be made by calling 090-2753-2560.

Walk 5 – Mt Nishihō-Doppyō (open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect)

Nishiho sansō is now open for business. Guests are advised to book in advance and to wear a mask at all times inside the hut. Tents also require a booking and campers should be aware that space is limited. Call 0263-36-7052 to make a booking.  Ropeway space is limited, so be prepared for long wait times on weekends and holidays

Trek 4 – Mt Oku-Hotaka-dake and Karasawa Ciruqe  (Open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect)

Dakesawa-goya is currently open for business. Bookings can be made by calling 090-2546-2100 and the staff recommend downloading and filling out this registration card for a smoother check-in procedure.

Hotaka-dake-sansō is currently open, but capacity is limited as a COVID-19 countermeasure. Advanced booking is required for both the hut and campsite. Tent sites now cost 2000 yen per person per night. Online bookings for both the hut and campsite can be made here (in Japanese).

Karasawa Hut and Karasawa-goya hut are open, but advanced bookings are required. Call Karasawa Hut at 090-9002-2534 and Karasawa-goya hut at 090-2204-1300 to make bookings. Tent bookings are not required, but please check in between 2 and 5pm. Tent sites cost 2000 yen per person per night.

Konashidaira campground in Kamikōchi is currently open but advanced reservations are required for all campers. Make online bookings here or call 0263-95-2321 to make a booking. Tent sites cost 1200 yen per person per night. Please be aware that a bear attack during 2020 occurred in the campsite, so please do not leave any food unattended.

Trek 5 – Mt Yari-ga-take (Open)

Yari-ga-take sansō hut is currently open for those with an advanced booking, but a mask is required. In addition, guests are encouraged to bring their own alcohol disinfectant and a thermometer and to check their temperatures daily. Tent sites do not require advanced bookings but be aware that camping now costs 2000 yen per person per night. The hut accommodation fee has been raised to 13,000 yen per night with two meals.  The campground is incredibly exposed to the wind and elements, so make sure you have a tent strong enough to cope.

Yaridaira-goya is open for the 2021 season. Advanced bookings are required. Online bookings can be made here or by calling 090-8863-3021. Campsites cost 2000 yen per person per night and advanced bookings are NOT required.

Konashidaira campground in Kamikōchi is currently open but advanced reservations are required for all campers. Make online bookings here or call 0263-95-2321 to make a booking. Tent sites cost 1200 yen per person per night.

Trek 6 – Mt Chō-ga-take and Mt Jōnen-dake (Open, COVID-19 countermeasures in effect.)

Chō-ga-take Hut is open and advanced reservations are required. Campers do not need a reservation but are advised to show up early as space is limited. The hut recommends downloading, printing, and filling out this check-in form to help expedite check-in procedures.

Konashidaira campground in Kamikōchi is currently open but advanced reservations are required for all campers. Make online bookings here or call 0263-95-2321 to make a booking. Tent sites cost 1200 yen per person per night.

Trek 7 – Mt Kasa-ga-take (Open, COVID-19 countermeasures in effect.)

Kasa-ga-take sansō hut is open for the 2021 hiking season but advanced bookings are required. Call 090-7020-5666 to make a booking. Tent sites cost 1500 yen per person per night. Call the hut to inquire about bookings and availability.

Walk 6 – Mt Norikura-dake (Open, COVID-19 countermeasures in effect.)

Mt Norikura will be open for the 2021 hiking season. Click here for the shuttle bus schedule and be advised that masks are required to board the bus.

Chūō Alps

Walk 7 – Mt Kiso-koma-ga-take (open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect)

The Komagatake ropeway is running at 80% capacity and is expected to be very crowded during both the July and August public holidays. Senjōjiki Hotel is accepting overnight guests with virus prevention measures, including the requirement of a face mask.  Komagatake-chōjō sansō is open for accommodation, and the adjacent campsite is also accepting tents (1200 yen per person per night). Space in limited in both the hut and the campsite so please make an advanced booking with the hut directly. Hoken-dake sansō and Tengu-sō huts are also open for business with decreased capacity.

Trek 8 – Central Alps traverse (open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect)

Kisodono sansō is open this year but with limited capacity. Advanced bookings are necessary, so call all the hut at 090-5638-8193 to make a booking. . Komahō Hut is open for the 2021 hiking season but capacity is extremely limited. E-mail them in Japanese to make a booking.

Minami Alps

Walk 8 – Mt Kai-koma-ga-take (Open, but direct bus from Senryūsō to Kitazawa tōge is not running.  Ascent possible via Kuroto-One but only for experts)

Access to Kitazawa-tōge is a bit tricky this year. The shuttle bus from Hirogawara will NOT run this year due to landslide damage. However, the bus from Senryūsū is running, but passengers need to change to a shuttle bus at Utajuku (歌宿) for the bus to Kitazawa-tōge. Click here for the updated bus schedule.

Kitazawa-tōge Komorebi-sansō and Chōei-goya (and campground) have both reopened this year with limited capacity. Ōdaira-sansō is also open, but this year meals will not be served and capacity is extremely limited. Sensui-goya is independently-run and does not have a website, so please call the hut directly at 080-5076-5494 to inquire about accommodation availability.   On the Kurota-One route, Shichijō-goya, is open with limited capacity. Advanced booking is required for both campers and hut guests at all huts.

Walk 9 – Mt Senjō-ga-take (open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect

Senjō-goya hut is currently open but with limited capacity. However, Umanose-hyutte will remain closed for the 2021 season. If Senjō-goya is fully booked, then it’s better to base yourself at Kitazawa-tōge and do Mt Senjō as a day hike.

Trek 9 – Mt Kita-dake (open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect. Huts and tent sites require advanced booking. )

Shuttle bus service has resumed for the 2021 season and all huts are currently open. Capacity is limited and advanced bookings are required. At the trailhead, Hirogawara sansō is open for business, charging 9900 yen for two meals and tent sites cost 900 yen per night be person. Advanced bookings are required for both campers and hut guests and they can be made here.  Shirane-oike-goya is now charging 10,500 yen for overnight accommodation with two meals and camping now costs 900 yen per night per person. Hut guests must bring their own sleeping bag. Hut and tent bookings can now be made online here. Up on the ridge, Kitadake Kata-no-goya has limited capacity and advanced bookings are required. For bookings call the hut directly at 090-4606-0068. Campers do not need advanced bookings but should be aware that space is limited. Kitadake-sansō is open for business but advanced bookings are required for both hut guests and campers. Bookings can be made here for both hut guests and campers.

Trek 10 – Mt Hō-ō (Open – COVID-19 countermeasures in effect. All huts and campsites require advanced booking)

Both Minami-omuro-goya and Yakushi-dake-goya are open for business, but space is extremely limited and advanced booking is required. The campground at Minami-omuro-goya also required advanced booking. Hō-ō goya is open for guests with advanced bookings (limited capacity), but the campground is closed for the duration of the 2021 season. Hirogawara is currently open, so the traverse route via Hakuhō pass is possible this year.

Trek 11 – Mt Arakawa-Higashidake and Mt Akaishi-dake (Closed – no access to trailhead and all huts closed)

Shuttle bus access to Sawarajima has been suspended for the entire duration of 2021 and all mountain huts on the entire route are closed. All huts are operating as emergency huts, so self-catering guests can use it to stay dry (bring your own sleeping gear and cooking gear/food).

Trek 12 – Mt Kamikōchi-dake and Mt Hijiri-dake (Closed – no access to trailhead and all huts closed)

Shuttle bus access to Sawarajima has been suspended for the entire duration of 2021 and all mountain huts on the entire route are closed. All huts are operating as emergency huts, so self-catering guests can use it to stay dry (bring your own sleeping gear and cooking gear/food).

Trek 13 – South Alps traverse (Partially open – Stages 1, 2, and 3 are possible but no shuttle bus to Sawarajima  and all huts closed beyond Sanpuku-tōge)

If you are entirely self-sufficient and are camping/cooking your own food, then the full traverse is possible. Huts on Mt Kitadake are open, but Kuma-no-daira hut is closed (but camping is possible). Shiomi-goya and Sanpuku-tōge-goya are both open, but both require advanced booking. All huts beyond Sanpuku-tōge will be closed during the remainder of 2021, but you can use them as refuge huts free of charge. Make sure you have your own bedding and food. The bus service between Shizuoka and Hatanagi Dai-ichi Dam has been suspended for the 2021 climbing season, so you need to arrange your own transport at the end of the traverse.

Mt Fuji

Walk 10 – Yoshida Route (Open)

Walk 11 – Subashiri Route (Open)

Walk 12 – Gotemba Route (Open)

Walk 13 – Fujinomiya Route (Open)

All routes on Mt Fuji are currently open but hut capacity is limited this year. Advanced bookings are required for all hut guests.

Walk 14 – Mt Kuro-dake (Open)

Bus service to the trailhead has been restored but service is limited so plan your hike accordingly.