Distance: 8 km
Elevation change: 764 metres
Highest point: 1054 metres
Start: Senzoku bus stop
Finish: Odake Shonudo Iriguchi bus stop
Hike Amidst Tokyo’s Hidden Forests
If you’re looking to dip a toe into the local hiking scene heading out to Hinohara Village is an excellent choice. Its proximity to downtown Tokyo coupled with natural beauty means there is plenty to hold your interest. This hike is a good case in point. To access the trailhead take a train to Musashi-Itsukaichi Station, board a bus bound for Fujikura 藤倉 and get off at the Senzoku 千足 bus stop (26 mins, 470 yen). Alternatively alight at the Hossawa no Taki Iriguchi bus stop a couple of stops before and drop by Tokyo’s famed Hossawa Falls.
The morning’s first mission is visiting the Tenguno Falls 天狗の滝 and its smaller sibling the Kotengunotaki 小天狗の滝 which is about a 30-minute walk from the bus stop. The first 15 minutes follows a paved road before entering the trail proper. Both waterfalls are quite beautiful and worth taking a moment to enjoy. The final waterfall in the series is the Aya Falls 綾滝 a further 20 minutes along the trail. Take a break at this last waterfall as there is a fairly long, steep and sustained climb up to the Mazukari Ridge 馬頭刈尾根. Just above the ridge soars the Tsuzuraiwa Rock つづら岩 a popular rock climbing spot.
Turn left at the junction and follow the signs to Fujimidai 富士見台 an open clearing with a small shelter and terrific views. From the bus stop up to the Fujimidai plateau gains some 750 metres in elevation. When you’re ready to head off, veer down to the right and look out for the Odake Falls turn off 大滝分岐 which is a little after a small rest area with some benches. Time permitting it’s possible to make a detour to Mt Odake though allow a good hour for the return trip.
The trail down to the falls shadows the Odake River a gorgeous trail at any time but especially so in the autumn. When you reach the Odake Falls continue along the trail for a short distance until it meets a paved road. This road passes the Odake Limestone Caves and Odake Campground before arriving at Kamiyozawa and the Odake Shonudo Iriguchi bus stop 大岳鍾乳洞入口 for the return trip to Musashi-Itsukaichi Station (35 mins, 480 yen).