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Hiking in Japan: Above the Clouds on Mt. Shirouma |

Japan is a hiker’s paradise Beyond the busy streets and bright lights of its cities Japan’s mountains which cover over 70% of its surface are a world in themselves Hikers at any level can find inspiring trails all over the country, but for those willing to take on more challenging terrain Japan offers some of its most breathtaking landscapes For as long as mountain hiking has been popular in Japan the Japanese Alps have been the ultimate playground for those looking for adventure in the mountains And that is where I’ll be hiking for the next two days Here’s the plan In the northeast corner of Nagano Prefecture Straddling the edge of the famous snow resort town of Hakuba lies Mount Shiroumadake Shirouma has one of the most unique hikes in the Alps The trail starts at 1250 meters above sea level Then climbs up a perennial snow field called the Daisekkei and eventually reaches the mountains’ ridgline where I’ll drop my pack off at a mountain hut and finish the ascent to the summit of Shirouma Before finally heading back to the hut where I’ll stay the night The next morning after catching the sunrise I’ll hike along the ridge hitting the summit of nearby Shakushidake before reaching our high point for the day Yarigatake From there, I begin the long descent with one important stop along the way Hakuba Yari Onsen a natural mountainside hot spring located at an elevation of 2100 meters and After a relaxing soak. I’ll make my way back to the trailhead. I’m Joe Mignano, web developer and staff writer for Japan guide com Today I’m on assignment in the northern Japanese Alps Taking on one of japan’s best mountain hikes climbing Mount Shiroumadake Day one Welcome to the Daisekkei In Japanese this literally means big, snowy, mountain stream The Daisekkei is a year-round snow patch leftover from the massive amounts of snow this area gets in the winter Before climbing it’s best to check the conditions at the previous hut this area is known to have rock slides We’re at about 2,000 meters above sea level right now almost to the top of the Daisekkei and just in the distance there is our destination Shiroumadake To the left, Yarigatake, our destination for tomorrow We made it we’re at the ridge line now behind me is Yarigatake bathed in some clouds we’re at the ridge line and the Mountain hut our destination for the night is just ahead As well as the peak of Shiroumadake Day two We just made it to the top of Shakushidake It’s an intermediary peak between Shiroumadake and where we’re headed today our highest point for today Yarigatake Once you get above a certain elevation The world below you just disappears Suddenly you’re amongst the clouds dragon flies buzzing around your head It’s a different world We’ve made it this is Hakuba Yari onsen At 2100 meters above sea level, it’s one of the highest Onsen in all of Japan probably one of the most remote places to take a bath I hope this video has given you a glimpse into the world of hiking in Japan and maybe a little inspiration to hit the trail and explore Japan’s incredible landscapes for yourself For more information about hiking in Japan or to watch another video Click the links on the screen now Or head over to your comprehensive, up-to-date, travel guide first-hand from Japan Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe for more videos about Japan Happy travels

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88 thoughts on “Hiking in Japan: Above the Clouds on Mt. Shirouma |

  1. Awesome video! The filming is just incredible, I love all the time lapse too. I've been using japan-guide a lot to plan my trip to Japan so it was a pleasant surprise to find this was made by someone who writes and developes for it.

  2. I'm thinking about hiking Shirouma in May but everywhere says the season starts in June. Do you have any advice on this?

  3. This video reminds me of my first climb of this mountain several years ago. Beautiful landscaps, how breathtaking… If I allowed to wish so much, I want you to introduce beautiful flowers this mountain has. This mountain is famous for blooming flowers many places on her in Japan, which is called 'Flower Mountain'. Wow…! I've become to clime her again!

  4. Do you happen to know if you can enter that particular Onsen with a tattoo? I know the usual rule is no, but given it's more remote location are they more relaxed about it? I love hiking and hot springs, so this looks like a winning combo, but not if I'm barred from entering. 😫 This is a great video and I'd love to see more about hiking in Japan. (There aren't enough websites in English to make it accessible to visitors, I feel.) Longer, through hikes? Pilgrimage routes? Please do more! And if you visit an Onsen let us know if it's tattoo friendly or not! 🤣 I'll be following along. More videos please! 👍

  5. Is there any bus from Shinjuku to this place. If yes, can you please tell me which bus to get on and which stop tonget off?

  6. I hope you can provide details such as transportation and estimated cost/expense on how to do this..I have been into Japan 3x and really would love to some hiking

  7. This "Yarigatake" is "白馬鑓ヶ岳". In Japan north Alps, thera are 3 "Yarigatake". Those are "槍ヶ岳Yarigatake" in south area, "鹿島槍ヶ岳Kashima-Yarigatake" in central and "白馬鑓ヶ岳 Shrouma-Yarigatake" in norsh zone. I think if you say only "Yarigatake", usuary, means 槍ヶ岳 in south area,

  8. Hiked this last month. It is really breathtaking, and the video makes a good job at describing it. The hut at the summit also offers bento box for lunch and English is spoken. On the second day, an alternative to the proposed route is to hike towards Tsugaike. You'll pass by a mountain lake, more snow, a small yet thick forest and an almost swamp-like area. A gondola + a bus will bring you back to Hakuba.

  9. Oh man, I always wanted to hike on Japan´s countryside and mountains. Beautiful country! Awesome video BTW. Thumbs up from Sweden!

  10. あの地域の地名を誰が勝手に「ハクバ」へ変えたのだろうか。山の正式名は「シロウマ」で残っているけど無知なひとは「ハクバサン」と呼ぶ。あの山は残雪期に見える雪渓の模様が畑を耕す代馬に似ていたので「シロウマ」なのだ。ハクバではないのである。

  11. Nice video! I have planned to hike in Hakuba this October. This will be My second trip to Nagano. Just love Japanese mountains!

  12. I just climbed Mt. Fuji a few days ago, and what I would like to know, is if this one is harder. While at Mt. Fuji the hike from the 5th station to the summit goes up ca. 1500m in elevation, this one apparently goes up ca. 1700m, wich is a good bit more, and you do it in about the same time or even less and without having an extended rest after 2/3 of the ascend, while this one does seem a good but less steep (which also mean you have to hike a greater distance), does that realy make it that much easier than Mt. Fujii? Because he doesn't even seem to break a sweat. I would love to do that hike, but I have to admit that Mt. Fuji was way closer to my limit than I would have liked (wich for a good part was because of the freezing weather near the top at night, and the steepness of the trail both up and down making my joints hurt pretty bad), wich made it a not really enjoyable climb, and I wouldn't want this one to be a bad experience for me as well. What do you think?

  13. amazing!!! I'm thinking of adding this to my itinerary in late November, do you think the weather is still going to be permissible?

  14. This is the best Japan travel video I've seen – on or anywhere else on the web. Did you really manage to shoot all of that in just 2 days? Amazing!

  15. Great video. After some research we decided to attempt a version of this with 4 kids, including a baby in a backpack. Took Tsugaike ropeway up, stayed overnight in Hakuba Ooike hut. The next morning we had a magnificent traverse and summit of Mt Shirouma and a descent down the Daisekkei. Awesome hike, highly recommend.

  16. Huh, I didn't know there were two yarigatakes. I've climbed the famous yarigatake from kamikochi route, and it's an entirely different mountain.

  17. Did this same trail 2 days ago (November 15th) all lodges are closed and no support whatsoever. However we enjoyed Hakubayari Onsen all for ourselves. Awesome experience!

  18. Awesome vid .. it's inspired me to do this hike when I visit japan in late August . Could you tell me roughly how long it took to hike from the bottom hut to the hut near the summit ? And also I see there are no buses from shinjuku to Hakuba in August . Is that right ?

  19. Is it possible to do this in late October? Is the lodge open? Hope someone can answer as I’m planning a trip to Japan for Halloween

  20. this is so amazing. I heard daisekke is one of the most dangerous ridgelines in Japan. the view from the top is breathtaking.

  21. How long does it take to get to the summit from sarakuraso lodge? Were going in sept and we want to know so we can get to the habuka sanso lodge in time, thanks!

  22. So beautiful! Thank you for taking us with you. Wish i had the chance to hike half a year through Japan. 😉 I am doing similar hikes in Germany. If you have the chance i would suggest you to visit german hiking sites – which we have a lot of. I made a hike all trough Germany from the sea up to the highest mountain, the Zugspitze, three years ago. You will not regret hiking here!

  23. My wife and I just did this same route thanks to your video. It was incredible!!! Thank you so much for posting. We are now back at our hotel in Hakuba and our legs feel like jelly though lol.

  24. Very beautiful…Japan is the best… very peaceful ,calm and quiet…Japanese people are very polite and helpful..
    Thank you for uploading this beautiful video..

  25. It is 鑓ヶ岳(yarigatake)!!!! Not 槍ヶ岳(yarigatake).
    I thought it is totally different form 槍ヶ岳. There are two Yarigatake in Nagano. I was surprised. hahaha

  26. I'm going to Japan this November and am planning to climb this mountain around the 20th. Would the lodges still be operating around that time? Because it's about to hit winter.

  27. This video is fantastic and inspired me to do this same hike in late August of 2019. Some advice for people tackling this for the first time. Give yourself plenty of time. This is a strenuous hike up that is very steep and rocky at points. There are several stream and waterfall crossings that require your undivided attention and can be quite slippery. The second day is actually more challenging than day one. Hitting the two peaks in the morning and then descending to the Onsen is quite a workout. The downhill here is again very rocky terrain that requires navigating some slippery waterfall descents using chains bolted into rocks. And keep in mind that when you finish up at the Onsen you still have quite a ways back to the lodge where the bus dropped you. This portion was long and challenging as there were both several hills you had to hike up to get to the bottom of the mountain. Definitely factor in plenty of time in order to get back to the last bus pickup at 3:10pm. Or you can take a taxi for 4 times the prices back to Hakuba station… at least it is an option. This is a challenging trek and you need to be prepared with proper equipment and be in good physical shape. The video makes it out to be a lot easier. Also, you can book the top mountain lodge, Hakuba sanso online. They have a website and staff that can respond in English. There are different types of accommodations as well, so be sure and ask why types of rooms are available. Overall this is a very rewarding hike with world class scenery. Cheers!

  28. Just did this same route last week. FYI to anyone, ascent from Sarukuraso took us 8.5 hours and descent to Sarukuraso took 11 hours. Please keep this in mind!

  29. They are wonderful videos – could not a little bit more time be spent at each stop instead of whizzing along at such a speed from place to place ?

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