Many people visiting Japan want to see the elusive and beautiful Mount Fuji. Climbing Mount Fuji is popular with guests from acorss the world, but you don’t get to experience the true beauty of Mount Fuji from up close. Often the best views of Fuji can be seen from off of the mountain itself, and Mount Mitsutoge offers one of the most amazing views!
Mitsutoge is one of Japan’s top 200 famous mountains, and has recently been identified as a year round course! Mitsutoge is actually a term that is used for three close summits; Mount Kaiun at 1785m, Mount Osutaka at 1775m and Mount Kinashi at 1732m. This area has been a sacred mountain, worshipped by those that practice Shugendo, since the Nara period well over 1,000 years ago.
There are three main courses (コース) to summit Mitsutoge, and one shorter route (light purple on the map below).
A course (Aコース) shown in green is recommended for descent, and takes roughly two hours from the peak to Mitsutoge train station. This is also a common route up, starting at Mitsutoge station and then descending to Kawaguchiko station along course C. On this course you can enjoy a beautiful view of Mount Fuji and see the 88 statues of Daishi which is a known power spot.
B course (B コース) shown in blue, is also recommended as a descent path, which also roughly takes two hours. You can, of course, also ascend along this route. On this path you can experience a beautiful waterfall Hahanoshirotaki, where pilgrims and worshippers of Mount Fuji would cleanse themselves. Once past the waterfall you can also experience the Kawaguchiko Asama shrine and torii, which gives a stunning new view of Mount Fuji.
Course C (C コース) shown in pink is recommended for both ascent and descent from Kawaguchiko station, utilising the Mount Fuji Panorama Ropeway. The ascent can take from 4-5 hours, and the descent around 2.5 hours. Along this route you can enjoy views of Mount Fuji, from the Ropeway station, and along the paths, before you summit and see the whole area from above.
The unmarked course in the light purple is the quickest course, by far, to summit Mitsutoge. The route can be accessed by bus, or there is a car park on route 708. The ascent takes roughly 2 hours, and you can descend in less than one hour! The path you take is a long series of switchbacks which vehicles use to access the summit, very specialised vehicles that is! There are no views for the ascent, however, you are well rewarded once you reach the peak.
There are a number of amenities at the top, including toilets, lodging and vending machines offering beer and sofa drinks. It is possible to stay at the peak, and benefit from sunrise views. You can use any combination of the courses shown on the map to ascend and descend Mitsutoge, which means the mountain is accessible for hikers of varying fitness levels, and how much time you have spare.
The views are some of the most spectacular in Japan, with vistas showing Mount Fuji, the southern alps, and Misaka mountains. With views like that, you might want to stay forever!
All courses are accessible by public transport. A and C can be accessed by train, starting at Mitsutoge station and Kawaguchiko station respectively. Course B and the unnamed course can be accessed by bus from Kawaguchiko.