Mt. Kuratake 倉岳山

Mt. Takahata 高畑山 – Mt. Kuratake 倉岳山

Duration: 5.5 hours
Distance: 12.3 km
Elevation change: 674 metres
Highest point: 990 metres
Difficulty:
Start: Torisawa Station
Finish: Yanagawa Station
Map: Yama-to-Kogen 山と高原地図 series 1:50000 [No.28 Takao & Jinba 高尾・陣馬]
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Tranquil Streams and Expansive Views

Mt. Kuratake is the highest peak of the Akiyama mountain range which runs south of the Katsura River on the border between Otsuki and Uenohara cities. It is also one of the 100 famous mountains of Yamanashi. This hiking route has been documented by several outdoor bloggers and features in Day Walks Near Tokyo by Gary D’A. Walters. Its easy access from Shinjuku (1 hr 15 mins, 1,320 yen) and moderate elevation makes it a year-round hiking destination.

A little after departing Takao Station, I was recognised by one my blog ‘fans’ who was travelling in the same carriage. Andy, was nice enough to come over, introduce himself and we enjoyed having a chat before I got off at Torisawa Station while he prepped himself to climb Mt. Daibosatsu.

After exiting the Torisawa Station 鳥沢駅 turn right, walk along highway for around 500 metres and look for a signpost pointing to Mt. Takahata 高畑山 on your right. After dipping under the railway underpass, turn left and follow the road, veering right at the T-intersection and cross the Katsura River (known as the Sagami River in Kanagawa). Thankfully there are numerous signs signalling the way. After 25 minutes from the station you’ll arrive at a gated road and the Oshino Reservoir which begins the trail proper. At first trail runs parallel to a small stream which you later rock hop across.

Further along at a major trail branch there is an option of heading directly to Mt. Kuratake but ignore this and launch into a series of switchbacks up to the main ridgeline. It’s a nice spot to take a breather before the final push to the summit of Mt. Takahata (982 m). At steady pace it should take around 2 hours to reach this point. In fine weather your efforts are rewarded with fine views of Fuji san though on this hike I met overcast conditions. Next up the trail rises a little passing Anaji-toge 穴路峠 descending into a saddle before climbing up to Mt. Kuratake 倉岳山 (990 m).

Along with Mt. Fuji, views from the summit include Mt. Ougiyama, Mt. Momokura, Mt. Daibosatsu and the Mt. Tanzawa mountains to the south. After lunch the trail sets off from the south side of the summit. The first part is rather steep and takes around 30 minutes to reach the multi directional trail branch at Tateno-toge 立野峠. While it’s possible to extend the hike by continuing along the ridge, this time steer left towards Yanagawa Station 梁川駅. Soon you pass a minor watercourse which appeared clean and safe to drink however there is an advisory not to collect water from the stream junction further down.

The scenic Tateno River shadows the trail and criss-crosses it several times. Eventually the track pops out at a road which you follow back to the station.
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3 comments
  • Hi David,
    This is Andy (we met on the train, as you mentioned above).
    Glad you like this hike. I did it a few years back, and it remains one of my
    favourites.

    Just got back from Yamanashi. Did the Mt. Iwadono to Chigo Otoshi hike. Access direct from JR Otsuki Station. Short 2.5 hour adventurous hike, some great views inc. Fuji, but some perilous sheer rock drops, and some parts with ropes and chains. Take care if you do it.
    https://en.culmina.jp/chubu/yamanashi/iwadonosan

    • Hey Andy, I enjoyed the Mt. Kuratake hike though there was a bit of a haze that day, so no Fuji san views. Many year’s back I visited Iwadonosan on my way back after climbing Ougiyama and Momokurayama but I’ll have to check out the Chiogo-otoshi cliff hike.

  • This is a great hike and the woodland and river scenery on the way up is very healing. If you continue along the ridge past Tateno Togei it is interesting and undulating with some views although a lot of tree cover, and even a couple of interesting rocky sections to navigate (although nothing challenging)… and a couple of very steep bits of terrain.
    As of early November some of the trail down to Shiotsu station is blocked by trees and rubble but it does not completely block the route or stop the hiker from getting through.
    You can also go all the way up to Mt.Takatsuka but it’s not particularly worth it.

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