2 Days / 1 Night

Day 1 Happo One – Karamatsu Summit – Goryu Hut

Looking back to Goryu Hutt and Mt Karamatsu

The initial part of this trek is listed above in the day trip to Mt Karamatsu, so we’ll take it from there. The morning part of the trip should get you as far as Mt Karamatsu and after climbing to the summit, the area in front of the hut makes a good place to have lunch and replenish energy supplies.

Shortly after leaving Karamatsu Hut, the trail narrows, and the trickiest part of the route comes into view at a place called Ushikubi. In this area you must negotiate your way across a steep rock face, with only a narrow band for foot space and a chain link to support you. While not particularly challenging, the drop off is quite high and may lead to a few nerves for those who have a fear of heights. The Ushikubi area takes about 20 minutes to navigate. If using hiking poles, it is best to stow them in your pack and use both hands to grip the rocks and chain. After Ushikubi the track drops away for about an hour before the climb up to Mt Goryu begins. The route is on the ridge-line for much of the way, giving good views to the east and west.

The final climb skirts Mt Shiratake and the Goryu Sanso Hut is a welcome sight.

Goryu Sanso Hut is perched on the ridge line with picnic tables out the front and a camping area below. Sited at 2,490masl, and accommodating up to 250 people it is a mid-size hut for this area. Run by a staff of 8-10 full time residents, it is comfortable and warm. There are also rescue staff based here during the season. Dinner and Breakfast can be ordered, but if you don’t have a reservation, then it pays to arrive before 3PM to lock in a bed and meals. Drinks and souvenirs are on sale in the lobby, including the popular “love alcohol, love mountains“ tee-shirts. If traveling by yourself, you will probably be assigned a shared sleeping space on the lower level, however if with a group of 4 or more, you may get a private room on the 2nd floor.

Check the weather forecast as you want to hit the summit of Mt Goryu when the weather is best. There is some cellular signals here , but it varies around the lodge, and outside on the picnic tables seems to get the best reception.

Everyone seems to have a few drinks and goes to bed early, as breakfast is set for 5:00am and everyone wants to hit the summit early.

Start: 1,830 masl
Summit: 2,696 masl (Mt Karamatsu)
Route: Happo Ike Sanso Hut – (1:30) – Happo Ike Pond – (2:30) – Karamatsu Sancho Sanso Hut – (0:20) – Mt Karamatsu Summit – (0:15) – Karamatsu Sancho Sanso Hut – (3:00) – Goryu Sanso Hut
Difficulty Level ★★★★☆

Day 2 Goryu Hut – Mt Goryu Summit – Goryu Ski Resort

Goryu Sanso Hut in the morning

An early start, with breakfast in the dining room at 5AM – 7AM. After packing your gear, leave your pack in the entrance way to the lodge and take the 60 minute walk up to the summit of Mt Goryu. The route has a large traverse, but the track is not too bad.

There is a bit of a scramble over the boulders near the top, before hitting the summit. On many days you’ll be above a vast sea of cloud, with Mt Fuji poking through to the south east. Allow for about 20 minutes on the summit to take everything in.

View of Hakuba on descent

Climb back down to the hut and pick up your pack. The route down follows the Tomi Ridge, and is steep in places with a number of chains set up to navigate the rock faces, and stairs cut in the steepest areas.

An hour or after leaving the hut you’ll be back below the tree line, and while there are a few ups and downs and some narrow ridge lines, it is a welcome relief after the efforts of the previous day. There are several places where the track widens, and rests can be taken.

You should emerge at the top of the Goryu Ski resort before lunch time and make sure you take a photo of the signs near the end of the course as these can be redeemed for discounts and freebees at the Goryu base center.

You can either take the Tenbo lift down and walk a short way up to the gondola, or just keep on hiking down to the gondola station on the path (recommended option).

Start: 2,490 masl
Summit: 2,814 masl (Mt Goryu)
Route: Goryu Sanso Hut – (1:00) – Mt Goryu Summit – (0:40) – Mt Goryu Hut – (3:00) Kotomiyama – (1:00) – Goryu Ski Resort Telecabin Gondola
Difficulty Level ★★★☆☆