Mt.Mizugaki (瑞牆山) is a jagged 2230MASL rocky peak situated in the borders of Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures, belonging to the Okuchichibu Mountains (奥秩父山塊). It is not surprising that this mountain also belongs to the Hyakumeizan (日本百名山) or the 100 Famous Mountains of Japan because of the beautiful rock formations that constitutes its summit.
I did this hike the morning after hiking Mt.Kinpu and camping at Fujimidaira-goya (富士見平小屋). Please see the post for more information on how to get to the campsite. I woke up at 03:00AM to a very chilly Spring dawn (3C) as I prepared to catch the sunrise on top of Mt.Mizugaki. Before starting, make sure to refill your water supplies as there will be no water sources found on the following sections. The trail starts at the left side of the mountain hut where you will be lead to a rolling trail of uphills and downhills until you reach a small stream, after which is a constant uphill all the way up to 2230. Do watch out for loose boulders and branches when navigating through this junction. As I gained elevation, I started to catch glimpses of Mt.Kinpu in the east, and the magnificent Mt.Fuji on the south and the sun starting to rise above the horizon. After a good 1 hour ascent, I reached the summit intact without the need for wearing my crampons. The views from the summit are astounding to say the least – where you will be surrounded by the rest of the Okuchichibu mountains, the southern alps, Yatsugatake (八ヶ岳), and even part of the northern alps!
It takes around an hour to go back to the campsite using the same trail. Alternatively, you can take the Kuromori forest course (黒森コース) which will take around 3 hours. After breaking camp and packing everything in my rucksack, I headed down to Mizugakisansou (瑞牆山荘) where the first bus bound for Nirasaki station waited for me at 09:30AM.
To get to Nirasaki station, take the Chuo Main Line bound for Matsumoto (ちゅお本線、松本行き). From Nirasaki station, take this bus bound for the trail head at Mizugakisansou for around 2000Yen. This hike can be done year-round as long as you have proper winter equipment especially on the ridge leading to Mt.Kinpu’s summit. Alternatively, other hikers do Mt.Mizugaki first and hike Mt.Kinpu the next day, then catching the last bus for Nirasaki station. Climbing Mt.Kinpu before Mt.Mizugaki gave me more time for an onsen dip in the morning by taking the first bus and getting back home early in the afternoon. For this hike, I bought the Mapple #25 Yamatokougenchizu map (山と高原地図) at a local bookstore. Both Mizugaki and Kinpu can be done as a day-hike but this means having to start very early and driving to the trail head.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
- Mt.Kinpu (金峰山 2599MASL)
- Mt.Mizugaki (瑞牆山 2230MASL)