Mt. Kawanori 川乗山

Hyakuhiro Waterfall 百尋の滝 – Mt. Kawanori 川乗山

Duration: 6 hours
Distance: 14.2 km
Difficulty: moderate
Elevation change: 933 metres
Start: Kawanori-bashi bus stop
Finish: Hatonosu Station
Map: Yama-to-Kogen 山と高原地図 series 1:50000 [No.24 Oku-tama 奥多摩]

Near Perfect Weather for Climbing one of Okutama’s Finest

It’s been a work in progress, but I finally got around to knocking off the last big mountain in Okutama – Mt. Kawanori. Last year, I made it as far as the Hyakuhiro Waterfall until heavy mist and light rain played end to any summit attempt, so with near perfect spring weather it was time for another bid. Access to the trail head involves taking a train to Okutama Station and a 15-minute bus ride (bus stop 1 Higashi Nippara 東日原行) get off at the Kawanori-bashi bus stop (260 yen). Be warned though, this mountain sees a fair share of foot traffic on weekends and I count myself lucky to have squeezed onto the additional bus that rolled up, with those less fortunate told to wait 40-minutes.

From the Kawanori-bashi bus stop walk along the Kawanori Forestry Way for 35 minutes to the first rest stop where you’ll find a local area map and a toilet. The landslide damage from last summer had been repaired and made a welcome reprieve to walking along the bitumen. Note from here on sections of the trail that rise above the river are quite exposed, so take extra care with your footwork. From the first rest stop it takes around 50 minutes to reach the strikingly beautiful Hyakuhiro Waterfall, making a fine spot to relax and take in the 40-metre-high cascades.

When you’re ready to head off, retrace back up the wooden steps and prepare yourself for a solid 100 minutes of steep climbing to reach the summit. The first part of the trail shows up as a hazard marker on the map and climbing ropes have been added at some locations. After dipping back down to a small creek the trail splits a little further along. The trail heading straight is lesser used and calls for a demanding climb to the summit, while the trail on your left is more commonly trodden and better kept up. Before you reach the true summit the trail pops out at a saddle and from here a wide path meanders its way to Mt. Kawanori 川乗山 (1,363 m). When I arrived the summit there was barely a square inch of earth to sit down with the crowds more akin to a cherry blossom festival than a quiet mountain retreat.

If the summit is crowded a better bet is to eat near the saddle junction. For the return journey look for the sign pointing towards Hatonosu Station 鳩ノ巣駅 (6.6 km). This trail unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to the path heading up and for the most part ambles its way through plantation forests. The path is also quite rocky which doesn’t help.


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  • Thanks for the great hike suggestions. Here are some additional comments:

    When I arrived at Okutama, there was no bus for more than an hour (they are very rare), so check the bus schedule before going. We took a taxi which is about 1600 Yen.

    The way back is very long and takes almost 3 hours. It has a steep part, then a long flat part which is pleasant to walk, and then another steep part.

  • Thank you for the post, I used it as a guide.
    I had to take taxi to Kawanori-bash as well but I wasn’t able to find one. Later it somehow appeared near the railway station.
    Ascent took 3 hours, descent 2 hours(I tried to be quick to make it before sunset).
    Waterfall was an amazing place to have rest.
    At the Hatonosu station you can refill your water for free.

  • Hello! Thank you for this site. It’s very helpful.
    Regarding this route, would you discourage walking it in reverse. There’s a good brewery around
    Okutama station I’d like to finish at.

    • Thanks for your comment and question. The only issue I can think of is you’ll need to plan your return to coincide with the bus as they are infrequent. Also check the Mt. Honita hike for directions heading up the first section of trail from Hatonosu Station.