Adventures / Summit Fever

Trek the High Peaks of the Japanese Alps

Hike hut to hut, bag two summits, wake up in the clouds, soak in hot springs and hit the bright lights of Tokyo

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Trip Ref #10273

Adventures / Summit Fever

Trek the High Peaks of the Japanese Alps

Hike hut to hut, bag two summits, wake up in the clouds, soak in hot springs and hit the bright lights of Tokyo

DURATION

8 nights

LOCATION

Japan

ANNUAL LEAVE

6 days off work

SEASON

Aug-Sept

GROUP SIZE

Up to 10 people

MEETING POINT

Tokyo Airport (Haneda or Narita)

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Ryokan · Mountain hut

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

You'll need to be fit and able to hike all day, some sections are challenging and steep. Not suitable for those with vertigo.

Summit Mt Okuhotaka (3190m) and Mt Yarigatake (3180m), two of the five highest peaks in Japan

Tackle the Daikiretto Gap - Japan’s most exhilarating and notorious non-technical hiking traverse

Experience mountain hut living Japanese style - tatami mats, futons and steaming ramen a-go!

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking local mountain guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a Tokyo hotel, 2 nights in a traditional 'ryokan' and 4 nights in mountain huts

Meals

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and train/bus to the Alps

Equipment

Helmets and harnesses for the Daikiretto Gap

Permits

National park permits and fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Tokyo Airport (Haneda or Narita)

Arrive anytime on Day 1

Ends

Tokyo Airport (Haneda or Narita)

Depart anytime on Day 9

Transfers

A shared-shuttle airport transfer is provided for any day you choose to arrive and depart in Tokyo (if staying at the group hotel). A driver will meet you at either Haneda or Narita Airport.

Travel options

There are daily flights to Tokyo from major airports across the UK, Europe and N.America.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Ryokan · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 6

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Ryokan · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Japan is home to deliciously fresh and varied cuisine and a bowl of steamed rice is included in most typical Japanese meals. Side dishes are called okazu and are served with miso soup. Meals tend to be fish heavy and are often served with sake.

Vegetarians and vegans can largely be catered for as tofu is a key staple in many meals. While hiking however it is not possible to accommodate a strict vegetarian or vegan diet due to the prevalence of fish sauce in miso soup, as well as it often being used as a base in other meals. As meals served here are set meals there is no option to request that it isn't used. For all other dietary requirements, just request on your passenger information form.

What is the accommodation like?

Tokyo

In Tokyo you'll stay in the popular Asakusa district in a 3-star hotel, such as the Sunroute Asakusa or similar. Rooms are twin-share with a private bathroom and breakfast is served in the on-site cafe.

Kamikochi

You'll spend 2 nights in a ryokan (traditional inn) in Kamikochi such as the Lodge Nishi Itoya or similar. Staying in a ryokan is a quintessential Japanese experience; you will sleep on futons on tatami mats on the floor and the rooms are separated by sliding doors. Most ryokans provide robes and slippers which are worn to dinner and will also have an onsen on site instead of individual showers and bathrooms for the rooms. Onsens at the ryokan are usually shared hot spring baths that are fed from a natural source or simply heated up. There are separate male and female times for the baths and there is strictly no mixing - you will need to wash before you get into them and clothing or swimwear is not allowed. Your guide will assist with the full etiquette when you are there.

Mountain Huts

You'll spend 4 nights in remote mountain huts. You will sleep in dorm rooms of varying sizes and all bedding is provided for you. There is an etiquette that should be followed at the huts but your guide will fill you in on this. The huts in the foothills of the mountains will likely have somewhere to wash and electricity but as you get higher up the facilities will vary so you won't always be guaranteed a bath and somewhere to charge your bits and pieces.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for 6 nights for an extra charge. This included every night apart Day 5 and Day 6 where it is not possible, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking.

Day 1

Touch down in Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo, one of the biggest and most exciting cities in the world. You’ll meet up with the group at the hotel in Asakusa before heading out for an optional group dinner. Lined with street food stalls and backstreet ‘izakayas’, this district is a great place to sit down and get to know your fellow crew.

Day 2

Journey to the Alps

Hiking

2hrs · 8km · 200m up · 200m down

Hopping on a speedy Japanese train followed by a local bus, you’ll make your way north to the alpine village of Kamikochi, the gateway to the Alps. Flanked by impressive mountains and framed by the turquoise Asuza River running through the valley, this protected area is only open half the year, snow making it impassable otherwise. Time to lace up your boots and head off for a couple of hours of the freshest of air before bedding down at your traditional 'ryokan' for the night.

Day 3

The snow monkey walk

Hiking

5hrs · 14km · 350m up · 100m down

Up bright and early it’s time to hit the trail. You’ll follow the river for most of the day on a steady incline before hitting some steep rocky alpine tracks, catching glimpses of Mt Yari as you go. Passing through dense Larch forests, keep your eyes peeled for snow monkeys, you’ll likely hear them before you see them. First night in a mountain hut tonight, be sure to hop in the bath for a steam-based limb recovery session.

Day 4

To the top of Mt Yarigatake (3180m)

Hiking

6hrs · 6km · 1200m up · 150m down

Mt 'Yari' (as it's known locally due to its unique spear shape), is one of the most famous peaks in all of Japan and a right of passage for serious Japanese hikers. It’s up, up and up today (as you would expect while bagging a summit) until you reach the peak. Your reward - a 360-degree vista of the surrounding 15 high peaks that make up the Alps.

Day 5

The Daikiretto Gap

Hiking

7hrs · 6km · 350m up · 400m down

Today is a biggy. The legendary Daikiretto Gap is a traverse between mountains that requires no technical skill but a fair amount of nerve. You will follow the ridgeline, part hiking, part scrambling but all under the guidance of your experienced mountain guide. Helmets, a harness and rope are all provided as a safety precaution and your guide will talk you through exactly how to use them.

Day 6

Summit Mt Okuhotaka (3190m)

Hiking

7hrs · 5km · 100m up · 900m down

Up bright and early for your second and final summit. Mt Okuhotaka, the third highest mountain in Japan, is no walk in the park at a towering 3190m. With some steep sections, iron ladders and chains for assistance, you’ll get to the top mid-morning before the long descent down to Karasawa. You'll then head home to the Karasawa Hutte, a timber lodge with an epic panoramic view from the front terrace.

Day 7

Back to Kamikochi

Hiking

6hrs · 15km · 100m up · 850m down

Leaving the high peaks behind, you’ll make your way back down through the foothills to Kamikochi via a zig-zagging path, through dense forest and over the Yokoo Ohashi Bridge. The afternoon is free for you to kick back and relax or explore a few more mountain trails while reflecting on the mega achievement of the last few days.

Day 8

To Tokyo via Matsumoto outdoor onsen

Hop on a bus back to Matsumoto where you’ll have a couple of hours to explore the town. The town is a natural hot spring area so for those keen, you can choose to visit a public onsen and get lost in the steam, or just have a wander around, there’s plenty to see in this ancient mountainside town. You’ll then jump back on the train to Tokyo for your final night in the city. Head out for a farewell feast with your crew and perhaps onto Shibuya for a nightcap or two.

Day 9

Goodbye Japan

Back to the airport today, waving goodbye to one of the most unique countries in the world.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

Helmets, harnesses and ropes for the Daikiretto Gap day

What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack (35+ litres)
Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack/drybags

CLOTHES
Down jacket
Waterproof jacket
Waterproof trousers
Breathable wicking layers
Fleece jacket or similar
Warm hat
Gloves
Buff or neckscarf
Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
T-shirts
Underwear & socks
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Something to sleep in
Hiking boots (worn-in)

SLEEPING (optional - all sleeping gear provided) Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner
Travel pillow or pillowcase

OTHER
Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel Insurance documents
Ear-plugs
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment) Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper to huts to dispose of) Quick-dry towel
Alcohol hand-gel Headtorch or torch
Reusable water bottle (x1 litre) Biodegradable wet-wipes Energy bars and snacks Water purification tablets/treatment system

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Pre-trip accommodation in Tokyo (Single)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Tokyo (Single)

Pre-trip accommodation in Tokyo (Twin/Double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre-trip accommodation in Tokyo (Twin/Double)

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 430kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trek requires a good level of fitness. You must be capable of hiking all day up paths with steep, loose sections. The walking is relatively straightforward, but the loose footing on the Daikiretto Gap can be a challenge. You will need to have a good head for heights and some experience scrambling. It is not technically difficult and no mountaineering skills are required but it can be mentally challenging. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile!

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

You will need to carry all you need for your 5 days in the mountains - the key is to travel light so really this should just be a change of clothes, something to sleep in and your key personal essentials such as toiletries and camera etc. There may be some down-time at the huts so something to read or a pack of cards could be useful too.

While trekking fresh water will be provided at each of the huts so you will carry what you need for that day. Bring a reusable bottle, it will be well used.

This trip runs in August and September with temperatures at lower altitudes ranging from 10 to 20°C and higher altitudes reaching as low as 0°C at night. You will be hiking in the dry season but as always mountains are not predictable so there is a chance of short showers or lightening in the afternoon.

You will be able to store your bags at the ryokan you stay in on Day 2 and Day 7 so should only take what you really need on the hike with you.

Tipping isn't customary in Japan and is not expected – in fact, it will sometimes be considered impolite. As a general rule you should not leave a tip in Japan, with a few notable exceptions - one being tour guides. If you feel that your tour leader has provided an excelllent service over the course of your trip, you may want to show your appreciation of their services. Your host suggest 500-1000JPY per person per day as a guidline.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Japan, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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