Peak Pleasure in The Northern Alps
One of the attractions of hiking in the mountains of Japan is the chance to experience the thrill of traversing. Japan is one of the few places in the world where hikers have the opportunity to walk along ridge lines connecting mountain peaks at high altitude. A major factor that has boosted the popularity of hiking in Japan is the presence of mountain huts along major trails. Because they supply bedding and food, people can traverse the mountains for several days at a time without needing to carry heavy camping equipment with them. On this episode of Journeys in Japan, Hayashi Emiri follows one of the finest trails in all Japan — traversing the Jonen Mountain range in Japan's Northern Alps — together with Hirakawa Yoichiro, a mountaineer and guide with extensive experience. As well as enjoying the breathtaking views, she also discovers how the mountain huts have coped during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kamonjigoya

Founded over 140 years ago, this is one of the oldest mountain huts in the Northern Alps. The specialty here is the salted char fish, which are carefully grilled by an open fire in a traditional sunken hearth. The whole fish can be eaten, even the bones — and they are absolutely delicious.

Chogatake Hut

This mountain hut stands right below the peak of Mt. Chogatake, which rises 2,677 meters above sea level. The view from here is spectacular.

To Mount Jonendake

The ridge line that runs from Mt. Chogatake to Mt. Jonendake is one of the most popular traversing courses in Japan. To the west, hikers can enjoy the view of the Yari-Hotaka Mountain Range, which includes eight peaks of over 3,000 meters.

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