Mt. Okuhotaka (奥穂高岳)

Mt. Okuhotaka from Kappabashi Bridge

Kamikochi – Yokoo – Karasawa – Mt.Okuhotaka


Mt. Okuhotaka (or Okuhotaka-dake) is a representative mountain of Kita Alps (北アルプス). It is the highest mountain in Kita Alps and 3rd highest in Japan.

The course introduced on this page starts from Kamikochi(上高地) which is a famous scenic spot, going for the summit of Mt. Okuhotaka. The former half of the course is a trail in virgin forests with varied plants. The latter half is a mountain climbing route in the  beautiful glacial land-form of Karasawa Cirque(涸沢カール).

About Mt. Okuhotaka

  • Japanese : 奥穂高岳 (おくほたかだけ)
  • Elevation : 3190 m (3rd highest in Japan)
  • Location : Nagano Pref. (長野県)/ Gifu Pref. (岐阜県)
  • Belongs to Kita Alps (北アルプス, Alias : Northern Alps, Hida Mountains)
  • Belongs to Chubu-sangaku National Park (中部山岳国立公園)
  • Non-volcanic
  • One of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains


Best Season : Late July – Aug.

Jan. – May Snow and sometimes blizzard, Intense cold
June – Mid July Rainy, Remaining snow
Late July – Aug. Sunny and warm, Little remaining snow, Flowers
Sep. – Oct. Cold and sometimes snowfall, Autumn leaves
Nov. – Dec. Snow and sometimes blizzard, Intense cold

Route Map & Guide

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Kamikochi – Yokoo

Kamikochi(上高地) is a famous tourism spot. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and hotels near bus terminal. In addition, there is shower rooms so you can wash your body after mountaineering.

There is a suspension bridge called Kappabashi(河童橋) at a 5-minute walk from the bus terminal. You can see magnificent view of Mt. Okuhotaka on the bridge.

The trail between Kamikochi and Yokoo(横尾) is almost flat and easy to walk. This trail is  popular also for hikers not aiming for summit. There are various kinds of trees, ferns  and streams on the trail. Sometimes you can see monkeys on the trail.

There are mountain huts every one-hour walk. You can have a break at there.

Yokoo – Karasawa

The trail betweem Yokoo(横尾) and Karasawa(涸沢) is more inclined and more like a mountain trail.

On the former half, you can see rock wall of Byobuiwa(屏風岩) on your left. On the latter half,  you can see Mt. Kitahotaka(北穂高岳) on your right front.

At Karasawa, the view become clear because tall trees disappear. You can enjoy beautiful view of mountains on your tent or deck of a hut.

Karasawa is also famous for its beautiful autumn leaves. Numerous people visit for seeing autumn leaves on weekends of late Sept.

Karasawa – Mt. Okuhotaka

From Karasawa(涸沢), the trail become rocky and steep. There may be remaining snow in early summer. This section is a very wonderful place with beautiful scenery, but beware of falling rocks and sliding down.

The route between the altitude of 2600 m and 3000 m is on a rocky ridge called Seitengrat(ザイテングラート). There are some chains and ladders in this section.

At the summit, you can see many mountains in Kita Alps. If the condition is good, you can also see Mt.Fuji in the distance.

Course Time

Kamikochi –> Yokoo 3 hours
Yokoo –> Karasawa 3 hours
Karasawa –> Mt. Okuhotaka 3 hours
Mt.Okuhotaka –> Karasawa 2 hours
Karasawa –> Yokoo 2 hours
Yokoo –> Kamikochi 3 hours

Example Plan

Day 1 : Tokyo/Nagoya ==> Kamikochi –> Yokoo (Camp or stay in a hut)
Day 2 : Yokoo –> Karasawa –> Mt. Okuhotaka –> Karasawa (Camp or stay in a hut)
Day 3 : Karasawa –> Yokoo –> Kamikochi ==> Tokyo/Nagoya


From Tokyo, By Train

  1. JR Shinjuku Sta. [新宿駅] ==> Matsumoto Sta. [松本駅]
    JR Azusa Express / Super-Azusa Express, 3 hours.
  2. Matsumoto Sta. [松本駅] ==> Shin-shimashima Sta. [新島々駅]
    ALPICO Kamikochi Line, 30 minutes.
  3. Shin-shimashima Sta. [新島々駅] ==> Kamikochi Bus Terminal [上高地バスターミナル]
    ALPICO Bus, 1 hour.

A few buses for Kamikochi depart from Matsumoto bus terminal near station.
There are super markets and convenience stores near Matsumoto station. You can buy food or some goods. There is no super market or convenience store after Matsumoto station.

From Nagoya, By Train

  1. JR Nagoya Sta. [名古屋駅] ==> JR Matsumoto Sta. [松本駅]
    JR Shinano Express, 3 hours.
  2. Same as access from Tokyo.

By Express Bus (From Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto)

Refer to this site (ALPICO)

If use express bus, reservation is required.