Distance: 13.4 km
Elevation change: 824 metres
Highest point: 1138 metres
Start: Torisawa Station (Chuo Main Line)
Finish: Saruhashi Station (Chuo Main Line)
Two Prodigious Views of Mt. Fuji
Clear winter skies provide exquisite views of the Japanese Alps, which are often masked in a slight haze throughout the warmer months. This circumstance was taken advantage of on this latest outing, which truly conveyed the majesty of Mt. Fuji. Although a somewhat underrated hike, its location just inside Yamanashi Prefecture provides splendid views of Mt. Fuji from two prominent peaks.
The hike begins at Torisawa Station, 鳥沢駅 around 90 minutes from Shinjuku. From the station, head across the street, which leads under the Chuo Expressway. The road then loops around to the left and back up the hill near the Otsuki Country Golf Club. Along the road shadowing the golf course, look for a sign on your left 梨の木平 Nashi no kihira allowing you to bypass a section of road. A further 10 minutes after exiting back onto the road, you should arrive at the trailhead on your left side. The route from the station is generally well marked with several signs pointing you in the direction of Mt. Ougiyama and takes approximately one hour to reach this point.
At the trailhead, there are toilet amenities, some benches to sit on, and a map of the area. The trail to the summit of Mt. Ougiyama 扇山 (1,138 m) is interlaced with switchbacks to ease the climb, though it becomes steeper over the last section. After about 30 minutes, there is a water hole to fill up. At the ridgeline 大久保のコル Ookubo no koru turn right towards Mt. Ougiyama. From here, it is about 10 minutes to the summit. Arriving at the summit of Mt. Ougiyama, there was a fair amount of snow and pretty much no hikers, though more importantly, stunning views of Mt. Fuji were to be had.
After taking a short breather, head back down the ridge to Ookubo no koru where the trail maintains a gradual descent. This section of trail receives a fair dusting of snow cover through the winter, so it is advisable to carry some ski poles to steady your footing. After around an hour, you will see a metal pole with a red arrow (unlabeled) where you turn left for the final and, at times, rather steep ascent to Mt. Momokurasan 百蔵山 (1,003 m). While the peak of Mt. Momokurasan has tree cover, excellent views are afforded towards Mt. Fuji and Otsuki City, which makes for a well-deserved lunch spot.
When you’re ready to head off, continue in a westerly direction across the summit for 10 minutes, where you should find a marker on your left that heads towards Saruhashi Station 猿橋駅. More views of Otsuki City are provided, and a water hole is situated around halfway down. When you arrive at the parking area and small shrine, take care not to follow the winding road; instead, look for a narrow road that begins at the bottom of the stairs. From the car park, it takes around 40 minutes to reach the station. When the narrow road converges, turn right onto a main road, which passes an athletics field. Further down, cross over a bridge and head back under the Chuo Expressway. The station is located right next to the 7-Eleven on the opposite side of the pedestrian bridge. Again, look for well-marked signage pointing you in the direction of the station.