Japan Alps scrambling, Kita Hotaka east ridge 2 days

Kita hotaka east ridge japan climbing alps Yari
Duration: 2 days
Distance: 39 km
Activity level: Beginner’s level rock scrambling
Elevation : 1,500 m
Start: Kamikochi bus station
Finish: Kamikochi bus station
Kita hotaka : 3,106 m
Oku hotaka : 3,190 m
The 3rd highest mountain in Japan

On this 2 days beginner’s level rock scrambling route, we hikeed up the Kita Hotaka(北穂高) then traversed to Oku Hotaka(奥穂高).

The view of the skylines of the Japan Apls was always beautiful.

Start from the Kamikochi bus station as always.

Kappa yaki at Kamikochi hike japan climb

Kappa yaki at Kamikochi bus station, yum! Kappa is yokai imp believed to live in beautiful water.

We took the Panorama course to ascend to Karasawa cirque 2,300m high.
Map time is 5-6 hours.

For more detailed information of Panorama course, Tony san’s article about Mae Hotaka Kita One is good to understand.
(The approach to Mae Hotaka Kita One is same Panorama course.)


The panorama course is good to see the whole Karasawa so some people prefer the route in Autumn to see the Karasawa with full of colored leaves, like in this article.

Hotaka Japan alps hike to Karasawa

The view of Karasawa from Byobu col on the panorama course

Karasawa cirque hike japan alps climb

Karasawa cirque

We took plenty of rest on the first day at Karasawa camp site enjoying mini bouldering.
Next day we started climbing from 4:30 am.

The east ridge of Kita Ho (Nickname of Kita Hotaka) is quite easy to find and there is no clear sign to approach so after started to walk normal trail for half an hour we just take the course which seemed better to walk.

Mae hotaka ridge from Karasawa japan hike alps

Mae hotaka ridge from Karasawa curque

Kita hotaka east ridge japan climbing alps

Kita hotaka east ridge to the Kita hotaka hut

Kita hotaka east ridge japan climbing alps Yari

Yari’s spear head summit from Kita hotaka east ridge

After 4 – 5 hours rock scrambring we were right below the Kita hotaka hut which is very close to the Dai Kiretto route comes from Yari.

Kita Ho to Oku Ho was 2 – 3 hours traverse.

4-5 hours descend from Tsuri One(吊り尾根) ridege and Jutaro shindo(重太郎新道) to go back to Kamikochi.
There is Dakesawa hut (岳沢小屋) on the way.

Kamikochi Promenade japan alps hike climb

Kamikochi Promenade


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To find the traditional climbing route Tony san did great work!