Kagosaka touge -> Mt. Mikuni Hiking Course -> Mt. Oobora -> Mt. Mikuni (105 minutes) -> Myojin Pass (45 minutes) -> Mt. Yubune (35 minutes) -> Minesaka touge (40 minutes) -> Yozuku touge (25 minutes) -> Mt. Furoh (15 minutes) -> Kintokikoen (75 minutes) -> Suruga Oyama Station (20 minutes)
Total hiking time: 6 hours
Easy to Moderate
- This trail can be done year round.
- Dry in spring, summer and autumn. Cold in winter and spring.
- Could be muddy and slippery after a spell of rain
- Icy and snowy in winter, with heaviest snowfall in late-January and February.
- Lots of snow higher up in the mountain, crampons are recommended.
- A walking stick might be helpful but not essential.
- Hat, gloves, flashlight, food and water.
- Light jacket for spring and autumn, long sleeved shirt to prevent sunburn in summer, layers for winter. It gets colder the higher you go.
This trail takes you through three prefectures – Shizuoka, Yamanashi and Kanagawa. The full course is challenging but very rewarding. I will include information for when would be a good time to turn back and when is the, well, the only way to put it is “the point of no return” and completing the course is preferable to backtracking. This is a long hike that requires 6 hours of non-stop walking to complete in its entirety. Plan for a 7-hour hike or even longer, if conditions are icy and snowy.
There is a dearth of vending machines (none, really) and bathrooms (1 portaloo at the midway point). It is best to pack a day’s worth of food, snacks and water in your backpack. I used this trail to prepare for a grueling 2-day hike in Yakushima. Due to its proximity to the Subashiri Trail, this hiking course is ideal for climbers who wished to make the most of their hiking itinerary, especially if they have some down time after climbing Mt. Fuji.
The starting point of this hike is from Kagosaka Touge （籠坂峠） or Kagosaka Pass, which is near Subashiri town（須走）. The trailhead is accessible by bus from Gotemba station. The hiking course takes you through the mountain ridge at the northern border of East Shizuoka, through a trail that weaves through the forests of Shizuoka and Yamanashi, heading west toward Kanagawa, before winding south. You could, of course, attempt the hike in reverse. Make sure you are able to make the last bus departing from Yamanakako (山中湖) to Gotemba Station (御殿場駅), or you’d be stranded in the mountains. An option could be to stay in a hotel at Lake Yamanaka (pricey) or head down the mountain (4.1km) to a hostel at Subashiri, which is the closest town to Kagosaka touge.
At Gotemba station, take the Fuji exit, walk down the stairs to your left and you will see the small bus terminal. At the ticketing counter, ask for a ticket to Kagosaka, in the direction of Yamanakako in Yamanashi prefecture. Stand in line at the number 5 bus bay to take the first bus which leaves at 8:45am. It’s a 45-minute bus ride. There are convenience stores located in Gotemba station and across from the station (Fuji exit). Restaurants are opened at around 10:00am.
A one-way bus ticket costs 980yen. At the ticketing counting, say “Kagosaka touge ma de no chiketto wo hitotsu onegaishimasu. Katamichi desu.” You could purchase a return ticket if you like, in which case, you would say “Oufuku desu” instead of “Katamichi desu”. Bear in mind that, if you follow the hiking route recommended below, you will not be returning by bus to Gotemba station. The bus schedule is here.
Tip: Take a final bathroom break before you leave Gotemba station. There are no restrooms at the trailhead. Stock up on water and food.