Friday, June 26, 2009


The summer season is coming nearer. Climbers must not have been able to wait for it. Though "Yamabiraki 山開き(the summer climbing season opening ceremony)” of Mt. Fuji will be held after about a week, the Southern Alps's season will start a little before it (maybe the ceremony will be held tomorrow(June 27)).

From yesterday(June 25) to November 9th this year, the buses bound for Hirogawara 広河原 operate from Kōfu Station 甲府駅, municipal Ashiyasu parking 市営芦安駐車場 and Minobu Station 身延駅 (via Narada 奈良田 where there is a car park). Hirogawara is a departure point for climbing Mt.Kita(-dake) 北岳 which is the 2nd highest mountain in Japan and a transfer point for the bus bound for Kitazawa-tōge(pass) 北沢峠 which is a departure point for climbing Mt.Kaikoma(-gatake) 甲斐駒ヶ岳 & Mt. Senjō 仙丈ヶ岳.

Be aware that entrance by private automobile is prohibited from June 25th to November 9th in the following areas. It is possible to get to Hirogawara only by bus or taxi.
・Ashiyasu 芦安 (Minami Alps city) ~ Hirogawara ~ Kitazawa-tōge
・Narada 奈良田 (Hayakawa town) ~ Hirogawara
There are car parks at Ashiyasu & Narada. Travelers who use privately owned vehicles have to switch to buses or taxis there.

Bus timetable for Hirogawara 広河原 & Kitazawa-tōge(pass) 北沢峠(Japanese version only) *Be aware that the timetable varies depending on the day of the week, the season and so on.

BUS FARE (one-way) :
Kōfu Station ~ Hirogawara 1900 yen
Kōfu Station ~ Yashajin-tōge-tozanguchi 1380 yen
Municipal Ashiyasu parking ~ Hirogawara 1000 yen
Municipal Ashiyasu parking ~ Yashajin-tōge-tozanguchi 510 yen
Minobu Station ~ Hirogawara 2300 yen
Narada ~ Hirogawara 1000 yen

*Be aware that you have to pay, per one-way trip, an additional charge of 100 yen (elementary school age : 50 yen / preschool-age : charge-free) for traffic administration cost, when you ride buses or taxis.

- Climbing informations on "Hiking in Japan" / Surrounding mountains of Hirogawara & Yashajin-tōge 夜叉神峠 -
Kita-dake (北岳)
Mt. Kai-Komagatake (甲斐駒ヶ岳)
Mt. Senjō (仙丈ヶ岳)
Mt. Houou (鳳凰山)(Houou-Sanzan 鳳凰三山)

- Photo Albums on Flickr -
Kitadake trip, taken by Snowlet
Kitadake on July 19-20, 2008, taken by Miha Cucek
Senjōkatake 仙丈ヶ岳, taken by mutilation
Kaikomagatake 甲斐駒ヶ岳
Houou Sanzan 鳳凰三山
Hirogawara 広河原

Refer to Panoramic viewing from peaks at home

View The southern Alps(Minami Alps) 南アルプス on Google My Maps

***** Reference data *****
"Minami Alps information" on the web site of Minami-Alps City's tourist association 南アルプス市観光協会 (Japanese version only)

EDIT (June 28, 2009)
I heard that there is exceptionally a lot of remaining snow this year, and especially the snow covers most of the climbing route at Ōkanbasawa 大樺沢(elevation 2000~2900m) of Mt.Kita(-dake). The concerned organizations urge climbers to carry an ice axe and crampons which can be helpful for walking on the snow.

WARNING! Although the rainy season has been over in Kanto region, Yamanashi & Nagano, the weather conditions have still continued to be poor. When climbing, you have to put on the appropriate clothes and carry the proper equipments. Please beware of your physical condition & the weather.

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