The gateway to this part of the Minami Alps (南アルプス) is high up in Oshika village (大鹿村) in southern Nagano and I made my first scouting trip there back in July. This time I decided on an overnight trips to be ready for both sunset and sunrise and hopefully get some decent photographs.
It’s a 3-4 kilometre walk past this gate to the start of the hiking trail so we took our bikes and locked them up overnight at the trail entrance.
We were surrounded by clouds when we arrived but while fetching water noticed that the sky had cleared. After quickly making our way back up to the top we were met with some stunning views and a gorgeous sunset.
I would have camped rough but as I wasn’t alone chose to stay at the Sampukutoge Lodge overnight. It was a crowded and expensive mountain lodge at this time of year but we slept well enough and everyone was friendly and welcoming. A warning though – lights out at 7:30pm.
Out the door at 3:30am for the 40 minute hike up Eboshidake (烏帽子岳) for sunrise, a cloud inversion, and a stunning view of Mt. Fuji. Almost 20 years in Japan and I’m struggling to think of a better sunrise.
I’ll return soon and try sleeping near the hut in the distance on Mt. Kogouchi.
As it was my birthday I persuaded my partner to accompany me over the weekend and she accepted the invitation immediately. Lucky me! She definitely prefers hiking to cycling and if I’m totally honest I think I might be starting to as well.
Day One – About 2 hours from the trail entrance to Sampukutoge Lodge.
Day Two – 40-50 minutes from Sampukutoge Lodge to Eboshidake and a wonderful view of Mt. Fuji.
Have you hiked this trail in the Minami Alps? Would you like to? Let me know in the comments.