Mount Kai-koma-ga-take 甲斐駒ヶ岳 (Nagano/Yamanashi Prefecture)


Mount Kai-koma-ga-take is one of the 100 famous mountains. It is situated in the minami alps national park and is a great day hike. The peak is covered in white granite, from a distance it looks like it is covered in snow. Some scrambling near the top, but nothing technical.
Chance of seeing rare raicho birds.

Maximum Elevation

Getting there

Begin this hike by driving to Hotel Sanryusou in Ina City, Nagano Prefecture. 

You are not allowed to drive your own car up to the trailhead, you have to catch a bus from Hotel Sanryusou. See below link for bus timetables:

Be careful that the last bus leaves at 4:00pm, you need to ensure that you finish the hike before then so you can make the last bus back to the carpark. 

If you are feeling adventurous you can camp at Kitazawa Pass and knock off Senjogatake and Kaikoma in a weekend. 



Route/Trail notes

After getting off the bus at Kitazawa Pass, you will see a toilet. This is basically the last toilet, I recommend using it before beginning your climb. Next to the toilet there should be two signs written in both English and Japanese. The sign to the right points towards Senjogatake and the left towards Kai-koma-ga-take. Follow the sign for Kai-koma. This will take you on a narrow forest path. 

Continue straight along the forest path, gradually climbing. As you climb, you will see the tree line begin to thin. This is where the views open up and the hike gets good. Once the views open up, you should be able to see Kai-koma. The white peak. From here, it is about another two hours. 

Continue following the straight path along the ridge line, ascending and descending as you walk along. This will take you directly to the base of the white granite of Kai-koma. Along this path, there are some steep sections with chains to assist you. It is non-technical and can be completed without the use of chains. As this section is narrow, there may be bottlenecks along the path particularly with large groups of elderly hikers. Be patient and don't try to rush. 

From the base of kai-koma there is a bit of scrambling involved. There are obvious footholds that have been etched into the rocks. There are also metal footholds and chains to help assist. The scrambling sections sections are short and easy to clear. Even if you fell, you would not die. Just stay cautious and use the chains to help you along. 

After clearing the scrambling course, you should reach the summit. The summit is not large. There is a small shrine and a sign that has the height of the mountain written on it. 

After eating lunch, follow the path behind the summit. There is a seperate descent route, labelled as the traverse route. This skips the scrambling. In some ways the traverse route is more precarious than the climbing route as there are lots of loose rocks. It is easy to slip and fall on this section. Be careful and watch your step. Some areas are also narrow and may become bottlenecked. 

The traverse route will loop you back to the base of Kai-koma where you began the scrambling section. From here follow the route that you came up, back to the campground and wait for your bus. 

If you need some grub, there is a resturant / shop across from the bus stop. There is also a vending machine with some refreshments. 

As a side note, be careful of altitude sickness, you climb the altitutde quite quickly. I got quite sick on the descent route. 


Bus: ~3000 yen

Other References

Hiking in Japan Book

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