Distance: 18.6 km
Elevation change: 712 metres
Highest point: 902 metres
Start: Musashi Itsukaichi Station (Itsukaichi Line)
Finish: Mitake Station (Ome Line)
Heading Towards Sunrise Mountain
With some light snow falling last night and a forecast for clear skies, there was an opportunity for a winter traverse. This hike allows for some superb views from Mt. Hinodeyama 日の出山 and includes the largely remote and picturesque Konpira Ridge 金比羅尾根. The hike commences 1.5 km from Musashi Itsukaichi Station 武蔵五日市駅. To get to the trailhead – exit the station, turn right on Highway 33 and make another right turn at the Shell gas stand, continue on the road behind Itsukaichi Junior School and look for a house nearby with prominent signs pointing towards Mt. Hinodeyama and Mt. Mitakesan.
The first part of the walk transports you up to the Kompirajinja Shrine (468 m) with a good view overlooking Itsukaichi City. From there, the trail follows the Konpira Ridge towards Mt. Asoyama 麻生山 (794 m) and finally Mt. Hinodeyama 日の出山 (902 m). With the overnight snow, some parts of the trail had a fair covering, and caution was needed to navigate some sections. The trail has a rather benign slope with only a smattering of steep climbs to negotiate, allowing you to maintain a comfortable walking pace. Being both the middle of winter and mid-week meant no hikers were sighted until reaching Mt. Hinodeyama which provided some much-needed diversion from congested trains and those that inhabit them. There is a small shelter at the top, though it doesn’t provide much protection from the icy winds.
After a short lunch stop, it was a leisurely 3 km walk across to Mt. Mitake and on to the Mitake Tozan Cable 御岳登山ケーブル. Deciding my legs had the better of me, I hopped on for the 6-minute trip to Takimoto Village. The other popular option is to walk to Kori Station (two stations from Mitake), which takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. The final push to Mitake Station (2.8 km) follows the rather tranquil Osawagawa Creek but unfortunately requires walking along the road. Turning right onto Highway 45 brings you back to the station.