The Yatsugatake mountain range-just 150 kilometers west of
Tokyo-is a convenient destination for outdoor winters sports.
Ice climbing is one of its popular attractions. Beginners can
even get in practice on an artificial ice wall near a mountain
hut before taking on the area's many waterfalls.
On Journeys in Japan we practice ice climbing and head to the summit of Yatsugatake's highest mountain, Mt. Akadake (2,899 m), passing through a ravine with a series of frozen waterfalls.
Cveto Podlogar is an experienced alpinist who has scaled numerous peaks around the world. He is not only our reporter, but also our guide to the area's fantastic ice climbing and snow trekking.
For more information, call Hococo, at +81-266-75-3533
You can also take the JR Chuo Line to Chino station, and catch a bus from there.
Traveler: Cveto Podlogar > More Info
Occupation:UAIGM International guide
Length of residence in Japan:25years
By Trans-Siberian railway to China; spent 6 months in Tibet; then came to Japan and made a journey all over Honshu Island by bicycle; interviewed by Yamagata NHK at the time; met Chiharu-san (partner)... and stayed!!
A relatively short drive from Tokyo, when the weather is fine, you may be in luck to glimpse Mt. Fuji. Then, a while a later, the Yatsugatake mountain range will come into view. According to legend, Yatsugatake-which translates literally into eight peaks-once soared higher than Mt. Fuji.
Yatsugatake is a leading destination for climbers of all ability levels, year-round. Many huts stay open in the winter season, making it convenient for climbers who wish to challenge serious ascents to the more demanding summits.
And that's what we did on this program. We scaled the highest summit, Mt. Akadake (2899m), via a normal route in perfect weather. The 360-panorama view was breathtaking: Mt. Fuji, the Northern and Southern Alps, the active volcanoes Asamayama, Ontake... This is a view you don't get very often.
The winter temperatures often drop very low at Yatsugatake, which makes conditions excellent for the destination's second popular attraction: ice climbing. People of all ages enjoy taking on the frozen waterfalls... if not on natural ice then on artificial ice. Ice Candy is the name of an ice wall built for practice. If you get cold you can escape to the Akadake-kosen mountain hut, which operates Ice Candy.
Even if you're not a climber, you will certainly enjoy the beautiful scenery of the amazing "eight peaks," just two hours drive from Tokyo. Plus there are many more local attractions everywhere at the base of the mountain.
For me, as professional guide, Yatsugatake has a special place in my heart and I'm always returning with joy to challenge the fine ice lines, ridges and frozen gullies...