Day-1 Into the Wild: Trekking to Mt. Tsurugidake in the Northern Japan Alps 北アルプス 剱岳

Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池Sightseeing

Let's go into the adventurous wilderness!

Murodo 室堂

Murodo 室堂
Chubusangaku National Park 中部山岳国立公園
Tateyama 立山
Murodo-daira 室堂平 2450m (8038ft) above sea level


Map of The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan 国土地理院の地図

環境省_中部山岳国立公園
Murodo 室堂
View of Mt. Tateyama 立山
It was named one of the 100 best mountains in Japan.

In many situations, the names of the mountain and its highest peak are the same in Japan. However, the name of Mt. Tateyama 立山 and its highest peak is not the same. The trail runs through three main peaks, whose names are

  • Mt. Oyama 雄山 (3003m 9852ft)
  • Mt. Oonanjiyama 大汝山 (3015m 9891ft)
  • Mt. Fuji-no-oritate 富士ノ折立 (2999m 9839ft).

* If you are a beginner hiker I recommend you choose those mountains instead of Mt. Tsurugidake. However, this guidebook doesn't cover these mountains.

One of the Oyama Shrines 雄山神社 is located on the peak of Mt. Oyama 雄山

雄山神社TOP
雄山神社公式ホームページ
Murodo 室堂
Why don't you prepare fresh spring water for trekking?
Murodo 室堂
Drinkable spring water
Murodo 室堂

Both routes “turn left” and “go straight” connect to Mikurigaike Pond • Jigokudani Valley ミクリガ池 • 地獄谷. Please look over this map before you start walking.

Murodo 室堂
View of Mt. Tateyama 立山

Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池

Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池
Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池
Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池
Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池
Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池
Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池

This is a crater pond that is very popular with tourists. From June through October, on sunny days, the water turns the most beautiful shade of blue.

Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池
Go along the pond.
Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池
Lodge : Mikurigaike Onsen みくりが池温泉
The trail goes past this lodge.
Mikurigaike Pond ミクリガ池
Mikurigaike Onsen Official Site : The highest Onsen in Japan
Welcome to Mikurigaike Onsen Mikurigaike-onsen, a hot spring lodge located in the highest alititude in Japan

Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷

Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷
Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷

DANGER! KEEP OUT!
Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷 is off limits because of volcanic gas. The volcanic activity has been increasing. There were other sightseeing trails at the bottom of the valley.

Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷
Volcanic Gas Information
Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷
Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷
Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷
Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷
Jigokudani Valley 地獄谷
Active volcano zone!
Cirque 圏谷 カール
Cirque 圏谷(けんこく、カール)
It was formed by glacial erosion.
Follow the trail
Cirque 圏谷 カール
You will walk up and down the winding hills for a while.
Cirque 圏谷 カール
It looks like Great Wall of China. Don't you think so? However, I've never been there.
Cirque 圏谷 カール
Cirque 圏谷 カール
Raichoso 雷鳥荘
Lodge : Raichozawa Hyutte 雷鳥沢ヒュッテ
登山とハイキングの宿「雷鳥沢ヒュッテ ロッジ立山連峰」立山・地獄谷・みくりが池の山小屋
立山・地獄谷・みくりが池の登山には温泉のある山小屋「雷鳥沢ヒュッテ ロッジ立山連峰」をご利用ください。

(in Japanese)

Raichozawa Hyutte 雷鳥沢ヒュッテ (Lodge)

Raichozawa Hyutte 雷鳥沢ヒュッテ
You will see a camping site and other two lodges.
Raichozawa Hyutte 雷鳥沢ヒュッテ

Many people feel the same about the view of a lodge. As you are approaching the lodge, it gradually appears larger as compared to it looking great from afar. It is unfortunate that the lodge looks like a ruin up-close. Rooms and utilities in the lodge are old but clean.

Raichozawa Hyutte 雷鳥沢ヒュッテ
Lodge : Raichozawa Hyutte 雷鳥沢ヒュッテ
登山とハイキングの宿「雷鳥沢ヒュッテ ロッジ立山連峰」立山・地獄谷・みくりが池の山小屋
立山・地獄谷・みくりが池の登山には温泉のある山小屋「雷鳥沢ヒュッテ ロッジ立山連峰」をご利用ください。

(in Japanese)

Lodge Tateyama-renpou ロッジ立山連峰
Lodge : Lodge Tateyama-renpou ロッジ立山連峰
登山とハイキングの宿「雷鳥沢ヒュッテ ロッジ立山連峰」立山・地獄谷・雷鳥沢の山小屋
立山・地獄谷・雷鳥沢の登山には温泉のある山小屋「雷鳥沢ヒュッテ ロッジ立山連峰」をご利用ください。

(in Japanese)

Lodge Tateyama-renpou ロッジ立山連峰
Raichozawa Hyutte 雷鳥沢ヒュッテ

I recommend you use a pair of trekking poles in July.

Raichozawa Camp Site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場

Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場

Raichozawa camp site (Raichosawa Camping Ground)
雷鳥沢キャンプ場 Raichozawa-camp-jou
500 yen / 1 person 1 night

At this camp site, there are bathrooms and a water supply which requires boiling for drinking.
You can also use the hot springs at the nearby lodge Raichozawa Hyutte 雷鳥沢ヒュッテ for 700 yen even if you are not a guest.

雷鳥沢キャンプ場
富山県観光・地域振興局がお届けする公式観光サイト「とやま観光ナビ」。観光や体験、グルメ、お土産、イベントやお祭り、アクセスなど、旅を楽しくする情報がいっぱい!
Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場
Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場
Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場
Walk across this bridge.
Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場
Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場
Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場
View from the bridge
Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場

ATTENTION!
Turn left after you cross the bridge. You shouldn't go to the right side. It is wrong way.

Raichozawa camp site 雷鳥沢キャンプ場

You should bring crampons until July or August. However, these months are in summer in Japan but tall mountains, more than 2000m (6561ft) above sea level, it still has a lot of snow on the trails.

Flowers
Flowers
Phyllodoce aleutica アオノツガザクラ(青の栂桜) Aonotsugazakura
Flowers
Schizocodon soldanelloides イワカガミ(岩鏡) Iwakagami
Tsurugidake 剱岳

Snow Grouse 雷鳥

Snow grouse 雷鳥

You might see a rare bird, such as, Snow grouse (Raicho 雷鳥) in the bush beside the trail. Snow Grouses usually don't fly. (They are not good at flying.) You shouldn't get to close or feed them. Please observe them from a far, quietly.

Snow grouse 雷鳥
Snow grouse 雷鳥
Snow grouse 雷鳥
Snow grouse 雷鳥
Is he scratching his back?
Snow grouse 雷鳥
Their struggling in the dust bath looked really cute.
Snow grouse 雷鳥
Snow grouse 雷鳥
He looked me and might said, “What do you want?”
Snow grouse 雷鳥
Snow grouse 雷鳥
See you again!

Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎 (Lodge)

Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
Let's have a break!
Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
Information
重要な連絡事項として、宿泊料金を変更致します。 昨年より、宿泊料金が500円上がります。 よろしくお願いします。 2019年度の営業は、4月27日〜10月19日までの予定です。よろしくお願いします。 アルバイト募集中です。 7月初旬~10月22日頃まで、短期でもよいので、ひとまず連絡ください。

(in Japanese)

Map of The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan 国土地理院の地図

Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
You can buy some drinks and food.
Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
There is a toilet in front of the lodge.
Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
Toilets
Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎

水ポンプは、ゆっくり下まで踏み込んでご使用ください。
Please make sure that you press down on the water pump pedal slowly after using the toilet.

Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
Toilet
Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
This toilet is tip system to use.
Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎

There are two trails from this fork to the lodge Kenzanso 剣山荘.
The left trail directly takes you to the lodge in 60 minutes, if the trail is not covered with snow.
The right trail goes to the lodge via a camp site and another lodge.

残雪期の為、剣山荘、剱岳へは
剱沢キャンプ場、剱沢小屋を経由して下さい→
If this massage board is placed, you should take the right route because there is still a lot of snow on the left side trail, and it hasn't been maintained yet.

Lodge: Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎
When I went there in July, I took the right side trail.
Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎

After you pass through the lodge Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎, you will see a great view of Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳.

Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
Walk along the trail that is marked with pink or red landmarks.

Please stick to the trail marked with pink or red flags like in the photo above.
Do not walk outside the trail as it is unsafe to do so and you may lose your way.

Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
You walk down on this valley.
Tsurugigozengoya 剱御前小舎

Tsurugizawa Camp Site 剱沢キャンプ場

Flowers
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場

Tsurugizawa Camp Site (Tsurugisawa Camping Ground)
剱沢キャンプ場 Tsurugizawa-camp-jou
2400m (7874ft) above sea level
500 yen / 1 person

剱沢キャンプ場
富山県観光・地域振興局がお届けする公式観光サイト「とやま観光ナビ」。観光や体験、グルメ、お土産、イベントやお祭り、アクセスなど、旅を楽しくする情報がいっぱい!

(in Japanese)

Drinking water and bathrooms (toilets) are available but closed from November through June.

You should check in and pay the camping fee at Tsurugisawa-yaei-kanrijo 剱沢野営管理所 below.

Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場

Tsurugisawa-yaei-kanrijo 剱沢野営管理所 It is the reception of the camping site.
They don't offer food service. If you want to buy food, you need to walk to Tsurugisawa-goya 剱沢小屋 located 220m (722ft) away.

Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場

Tsurugisawa-hashutsujo 剱沢警備派出所 Tsurugisawa police station
It is next to Tsurugisawa-yaei-kanrijo 剱沢野営管理所.

Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場

This information board tells you condition of the trails such as closed routes, dangerous areas and areas where you need to use crampons.
You can ask the police about it, if you can’t read this information in Japanese.

Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
The trail goes to the other side of this house.
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場

Walk down to the lodges. Tsurugisawa-goya 剱沢小屋 → Kenzanso 剣山荘

Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場

View around Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
Tsurugizawa camp site 劔沢キャンプ場
Flowers around the camp site

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

Lodge name
Kenzanso 剣山荘

剣山荘

This lodge was renovated and the interior is the most beautiful and cleanest out of all the lodges I've seen in Japan, though the lodge is located near Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳 in the wilderness in where you can't go by car.
You can refresh yourself with a shower after the long hike. It's so comfortable.

Seasonal business
Summer season (End of June - Early in October)

Camp site
There is no camp site near this lodge.
Use Tsurugizawa camp site (Tsurugisawa Camping Ground) 剱沢キャンプ場.

Maps


Map of The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan 国土地理院の地図

Reservation and Contact
Reservations are necessary, because this lodge controls the number of guests to ensure an enjoyable stay at the dormitories.

(While some lodges located in the Japanese alps or Mt. Fuji 富士山 are often over-crowded, especially from Friday to Sunday in summer; sometimes guests have to sleep shoulder-to-shoulder on a small mattress.)

If you don't speak Japanese and would like to book the lodge, the best way is by e-mail in English instead of by phone. They will reply in English.
You should receive a reply within 2 days. If you do not, resend your reservation after 2 days have passed, or please make reservations by phone.

kenzanso@mopera.net

Reservation office
TEL 076-482-1564
FAX 076-482-1565

Direct mobile phone numbers to the lodge
090-2372-5799 (Available from 1st June)
090-8967-9116 (Satellite phone)

Price (Dormitory)
• 1-night with dinner and breakfast 10000 yen
• 1-night with dinner 9000 yen
• 1-night without meals 7000 yen
• A lunch box instead of the breakfast 1000 yen
(including tax)

Breakfast is at 5:30 AM
Dinner is at 5:00 PM

Lodge capacity
160 persons

Note
Inform the lodge as soon as possible if you need to cancel your reservation.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Drinks and food booth 売店, Reception 受付

Check in
Please check in and pay the bill at this reception when you arrive at the lodge. (You can leave without checking out.)
You should take off your shoes in front of the reception of the lodge, and put on slippers when you are staying in the lodge. You should put your shoes in the shoe box in dry room next to the reception. You can freely use the room to dry your rain jacket and so on.

Menu
Prices are as of in 2017. It might be changed now.

  • Draft beer 900 yen
  • Canned beer (500ml 800 yen, 350ml 600 yen)
  • Coffee 500 yen
  • English tea 500 yen
  • Curry rice 1000 yen
  • Beef bowl 1000 yen
  • Chinese bowl 1000 yen (Chopped vegetables and bits of meat)
  • Cup noodles 500 yen
  • Cup udon noodles 500 yen
  • Oden 800 yen (Several piece of boiled food)
  • Non-alcohol drinks 400 yen to more
  • Sake 600 yen to more
  • Canned chuhai (cocktails) 500 yen
  • Milk 300 yen
  • A bottle of whiskey 1500 yen

There is no garbage can in this lodge. You can only return cans and plastic bottles that are sold by this lodge. Hand it to the staff member.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Quick dry T-shirt, Bandanna, Socks
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

Those tables on the terrace are good for eating and drinking while viewing the mountain scenery. This place is 2470m (8103ft) above sea level.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
View from the lodge
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

You should take off your shoes in front of the reception of the lodge, and put on slippers when you are staying in the lodge.
You should put your shoes in the shoe box in dry room next to the reception. You can freely use the room to dry your rain jacket and so on.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Weather forecast 天気予報 (for every 3 hours)
Weather forecast for tomorrow あしたの天気
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Information of the mountain 山岳情報
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

The bathrooms of this lodge have hot showers, but no bathtubs. They cannot offer hot spring services, either.
The tap water of the sink space is safe to drink, and free of charge for the lodge guests.

The shower rooms close at 5:00 pm.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Clean flush toilets
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Clean flush toilets
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Japanese-style squat toilet
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

Note
You should plan to arrive at the lodge by 5:00 om at the latest, as that is when the shower rooms close, and dinner starts being served.
Approximate walking time to get to the hostel according to some hiking maps are from mid August for the trails without snow. Because there is still lots of snow on the trails prior to mid August, you should schedule plenty of time to be able to make your way through the entire trail.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Dining room
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Dining room
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
TV and liberally

This lodge offers only one kind of a set meal for each dinner and for each breakfast to be taken in the dining room.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

A sample of dinner
Hamburger patty, Fried prawn, Grilled fish, Salad, Vegetables, Pickles and so on. These are subject to change.
You can get free refills of rice, miso soup and Japanese tea by yourself.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
This dinner was good taste!

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

A sample of breakfast
Scrambled egg, Sausage, Seasoned fish, Salad, Vegetables, Pickles, Nori (Seasoned and dried sea vegetable) These are subject to change. You can get free refills of rice, miso soup and Japanese tea by yourself.
This breakfast was simple but I was satisfied.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

After you've finished your dinner / breakfast, please leave your dishes on the table and leave the dining room.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)
Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

This lodge is located near the peak of Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳 among the lodges around this area.
When you reach the peak you may want to leave your baggage in the baggage room at the lodge. You don't need to ask the receptionist if you are the guest. You can freely leave it on an open shelf in the hallway.

You shouldn't keep it in your room because the room will require housekeeping in the morning. You can leave without checking out when you leave the lodge.
Then, when you come back from the peak you can enter the lodge again without permission from the receptionist and take your baggage.
Some people might think it is not secure but don't worry. In Japan, it is not likely that anyone (hikers) will steal your belongings.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

This is a dormitory. There is sufficient bedding such as mattresses, blankets and pillows in the dormitory. You do not need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Kenzanso 剣山荘 (Lodge)

Information
When you would like to charge your smartphone, please ask the reception. There will most likely be no outlets in the guest rooms. Please refrain from using any outlets inside the hostel, such as in the dining room or hallway, without permission.

Smoking is prohibited in the lodge. 禁煙
The use of products causing fire or smoke is strictly prohibited in the lodge. 火気厳禁

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