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Mt. Norikura 乗鞍岳

Mt Norikura Mt Norikura
Mt Norikura Mt Norikura

A holy mountain that draws hikers, pilgrims and summer skiers from all over Japan

The third-highest peak in the Northern Japan Alps, Mt. Norikura is both a major hiking destination and famous for its summer skiing.

How to Get There

Mt. Norikura is closed to private vehicles, so buses, taxis or bicycles are your only options. The road is closed from November to May or June with the exact dates depending on weather and which prefecture you are traveling from.

From Gifu Prefecture buses leave from Hirayu Onsen every one or two hours, and take an hour to reach Norikura Bus Terminal. From there it is a short walk to the Fujimidake summit.

From Nagano Prefecture buses leave the Kanko Center in Norikura Kogen every one to two hours. The ride takes 50 minutes.

The great outdoors

Straddling the frontier between Gifu and Nagano , Mt. Norikura is an essential part of any visit to the Okuhida area. There are three main reasons for visiting: leisurely strolling, serious hiking, or summer skiing.

Stepping out

A 30-minute stroll will take you to the Katanokoya mountain hut. From there, the trail leads to Kengamine Peak, about an hour's walk.

The view along the way is spectacular. Vivid wildflowers shift tones throughout the season, and the autumn leaves spread across the Okuhida area are rightly famous.

Feed your mind and body

Other beautiful sights include Ushidomeike, a large pond formed when Norikura last erupted, and Zengoro Falls. If visiting nearby Shirahone Onsen, try the spring water which is said to be good for the digestion.

The hills are alive

For those wanting a more in-depth tour of the mountains here, the trails continue on down to Norikura Kogen on the Nagano side. Even in the height of summer, the weather up here can change in a matter of minutes; cold-weather gear and proper climbing boots are a necessity.

Summer skiing

With the road closed in winter, skiing on Mt. Norikura then isn't an option, but the mountain is high enough that snow remains throughout the summer. There's decent traffic of thrillseekers hiking up and sliding down the mountain every summer—and the skiing is free. There are ski chalets in the area.

The latest information may differ, so please check the official website

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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