Oku-shirane-san, Japan

Located in Nikko National Park

Elevation = 8458 ft., 2578 meters

A Google Earth image of our climbing route on the east side of the mountain starting from Yumoto Onsen. The waypoints shown are available as a .gpx file which can be loaded in your GPS receiver. Oku-shirane-san.gpx In good weather this is a wonderful scenic loop hike. The trail starts from the campground a short walk from the bus stop. After gaining elevation through an area of ski lifts the trail gets serious and ascends steeply from point 66 to a ridge line at point 70. You will be hanging onto tree roots and lims in this area. The trail is easy along the ridge and goes over a minor peak then drops down to a hut at point 79. Then it's a steep climb up to the summit. The retrun route descends the north side to a junction them east along a ridge to Goshiki-yama. From there go northeast then take a right turn at a junction and follow a lesser-used trail all the way down to the village. The route is 11.3 km (6.8 mi.) with a gain of about 1460 m (4790 ft.) to the summit. It took 4 hours to reach the summit and about 3 1/2 hours to follow the route down.
The east side of the summit from point 75. At the junction in a minor saddle up ahead go left uphill. The lake on the right is Goshiki-numa. The hut is not visible in this view since it is over the ridge in a canyon.
One of several maps posted at junctions. This shows the summit and trails down the west and north sides. Yumoto Onsen is off the map on the right side.
The trail going down the ridge near waypoint 96 to 97.
One of the easier sections on the climb up to the ridge from waypoints 66 to 70.
A real mob at the summit. Typical of most peaks we climbed in Japan.
Other sources of information about the mountain. The book "Hiking in Japan", by Lonely Planet has a lot of information on this hike and was very helpful.

Oku-shirane-san is one of Japan's top 100 peaks called The Hyakumeizan. There is a good website with reports on most all of the 100. Oku-shirane-san at Japanhike.

Transportation to the Mountain - From the JR Nikko rail station there are 21 buses a day to the Yumoto Onsen. The first bus is at 6:13 so it is possible to get an early start and return to Nikko after the hike. The last bus going down from Yumoto Onsen is at 1925. The trip takes one hour and 25 minutes and costs 1750 Yen one-way. The bus schedule as of September 2014 is shown in this pdf file. Nikko to Yumoto Onsen Bus Schedule If you are staying at the Turtle Inn or Turtle Annex it is possible to get on at the Nishi-sando stop near Lawsons.