Hossawa Falls 払沢の滝 – Mt. Sengenrei 浅間嶺
Distance: 7.8 km
Elevation change: 623 metres
Highest point: 903 metres
Start: Hossawa no taki iriguchi Bus Stop
Finish: Kamigawanori Bus Stop
Difficulty: ▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅ ❷
Map: Yama to Kogen Chizu 山と高原地図 ［No.24 奥多摩 OKUTAMA］
GPX TrackKML TrackGSI MAPPDF Topo Map
Another Great Hike in Hinohara Village
Hinohara Village is a popular playground for Tokyoites and includes several noteworthy drawcards including Mt. Mito, and the Odake and Mitsugo limestone caves. I also discovered on this hike it includes a waterfall listed in the One Hundred Waterfalls of Japan, the Hossawa Falls 払沢の滝. Being on the fringes of Tokyo also means its trails are well marked and with most mountains falling under the 1,000 metre ceiling makes them family friendly.
To get to the Hossawa no taki iriguchi bus stop 払沢の滝入口 take a 20 minute bus ride (470 yen) from Musashi-Itsukaichi Station (bus stop 1). It is definitely recommended to make a short detour via the waterfalls which takes around 10 minutes up a dirt path. Best advice is to jump on an early bus to avoid the place swarming with sightseers. After taking in the beautiful cascades return to the road and turn left where there is a sign pointing towards Mt. Sengenrei 浅間嶺. After heading up the road the first marker you should look for is on the left hand side, leading up some stairs (this isn’t the trail head, but a shortcut bypassing a section of road you’re walking). After hitting back onto the road keep heading up and look for a sign directing you to the Tossaka Pass 時坂峠.
Next is another short section of paved road passing by a historic homestead. Shortly afterwards the road diverges so take road on the left and begin the gradual climb up to Mt. Sengenrei. The trail is easy going and after 45 minutes the trail forks with the option of heading directly to the summit or passing via the Sengenrei rest place. Given the top of Mt. Sengenrei (903 m) has terrific views towards Mt. Odake and Mt. Gozen I would suggest making this your lunch spot.
After refuelling with some calories the trail to the Kamigawanori bus stop 上川乗 commences on your left and takes around 50 minutes to reach. On the way down there were several large contingents of hikers making their way up, presumably making the hike in reverse finishing at the waterfall. The 40 minute bus ride (700 yen) back to Musashi-Itsukaichi Station returns via the same Hinohara Road.
Start this trail from the opposite end. That way if you have to wait for the bus you will have something to do. A cafe a walk to the falls. On the other end the bus ride is long and nothing there.
WARNING!!!!!Also watch out at about half way there is a trail to the left with i think a sign that says itsukaichi kago. The old Samurai trail . It looks like a steep short cut up to the summit. ITS NOT THE TRAIL ENDS SHORTLY ABOVE AND ITS REALLY DANGEROUS. There is not footing. Take the well worn path. i had my dog and daughter and we all almost went tumbling down the side.
Thanks for passing on this information Mark. Very pleased to read everyone managed to come out unscathed.
Hey, thanks for the blog & post. Just a head’s up that the waterfall at the start of the trail freezes in winter and is quite pretty. You can check how much of it is frozen here: http://hinohara-kankou.jp/keppyou/, updated daily.
For anyone going, there is some snow/ice on the top (as of 1/26/2017) which requires a bit of caution, but not necessarily crampons
Thanks Tim, well-timed advice. I was actually thinking about making a return trip in the coming weeks, though was hoping for some snow to bump up the frozen look of the falls. Cheers for the link showing what proportion of the falls has frozen – it’s gone from 5% to 65% this past week!
Just finished this trail yesterday. I think starting at hossawa falls is a better choice, so you can eat your victory lunch while taking in the view atop Mt. Sengenrei. The instructions above worked for me and the view was def worth it.
I did a modified version of this hike today. Went up from Hossawa parking area. At Mt. Sengenrei (which has no view) I headed back down to the rest area then up the ridgeline which is posted as Mt. Sengenrei but is not (according to Yamap). Then all the way along the ridgeline, with some really nice Mt Fuji views, passing another 4 mountains (Tenrysan, Matsubaeyama, Hossawanomine, and another not marked (on Yamap) peak along the ridgeline that did have a marker attached to a tree! Continued all the way down to highway 33, turned left and walked along the road (thankfully, with a sidewalk) back to Hossawa (4.3 kms). Including going to Hossawa Falls at the end, the total distance was 17.5 kms in 6 hours. I could have waited 20 minutes for the bus but decided to just walk. I saw the bus pass me about half way to Hossawa. Just across the street from the bus park area below Hossawa is a tofu donut shop that I always stop at when in that area. Yep, sure did get a tofu donut again today!
Thanks for your writeup of this hike. While I didn’t exactly do it, you gave me the impetus to try this one. Really nice despite the -1.5C temp at 0900 when I began.
You had me reaching for my map to see which ridgeline you tackled. Mt. Matsubaeyama 松生山 gets a guernsey on my hiking maps but those other ones you mention don’t. By the looks of it that trail pops out at Sasadaira 笹平 bus stop. Indeed, a tofu donut or two at the end of it is just reward for starting out on a cold winter’s morning.
I know. Most maps don’t list the other peaks along the ridgeline. You’re probably right about the bus stop — I’m not sure and I can’t read Japanese.
Did this today (July 5 , 2020). After moderate recent rains, Hossawa Falls were quite powerful, and well worth visiting. The trail is in good condition at all stages. Best to amble along on the ascent, as it’s scenic with plenty of nice misty views, quaint farmhouses, and a flat paved road section to catch your breath. The descent to Kamigawanori Bus Stop is through forest with few views, but nice enough. Note that around the bus stop there is no vending machine, but a decent toilet is there to change clothes if needed. Very pleasant easy to moderate hike. Takes about 3 hours.
Waiting for the bus at kamikawanori now. Great 4 hours, the waterfall is simply superb and so easy to get to. Had the first half of Sengenrei for myself, quiet, calm, sometimes rough and always interesting. The views from the top in days like today, blue and sunny, are really worth the hike.
Thanks for the good recommendation! Bought you two Ko-fi for the mountain and one for the waterfalls. Looking forward to the next one (please keep hiking and writing!)
Great to hear Francisco and good idea making an early start with the summer heat. Thanks again for supporting the blog ?
Are there dogs allowed around the falls area?
Yes, it’s possible to walk your dog(s) along the trail to the falls as these folk did. https://www.gowithdog.org/hinohara-village-hossawa-waterfall/ and http://shibaeko.blog33.fc2.com/blog-entry-1744.html
Fun little day hike close to Tokyo! Thanks for the post.
I recommend starting opposite the post from Kamigawanori (上川乗) Bus Stop and ending at Hossawa no taki iriguchi (払沢の滝入口) Bus Stop. That way you can see Hossawa waterfall (払沢の滝) as the final thing, check out the cute little wood shop that’s on the path to the waterfall, Forest’s Whisper (森のささやき), and don’t have to hike with any souvenirs all day, then end the day with some delicious soy milk donuts and ice cream at Hinohara Tofu Chitoseya (檜原とうふ ちとせ屋) that’s right across the street from the Hossawa no taki iriguchi (払沢の滝入口) Bus Stop. Kamigawanori (上川乗) Bus Stop has nothing around it and the bus comes much less frequently.
Also, don’t miss the actual summit of Sengenrei (浅間嶺). We had lunch at the clearing near the top, but almost missed a spectacular view of Fuji from the actual peak only a few hundred meters south of the clearing.
Is there a way/site to check the departure time of the busses?
Nishi Tokyo Bus has a handy pdf which includes departure and travel times and the cost. It has just been updated for 2021. https://www.nisitokyobus.co.jp/wp/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/202109_itsukaichi.pdf