Mt Tanigawa 谷川岳

Mount Tanigawadake
Mount Tanigawadake

A towering and beautiful symbol of the north

Mt. Tanigawa is a 1,977-meter peak in northern Gunma and the highest point in the Tanigawa Mountain Range. One of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan, it is extremely difficult to climb.

Quick Facts

Nicknamed "Devil's Mountain" by many climbers

Records show some four times as many fatalities (1930s-2014) compared to Mt. Everest in the same period

Rated a 4 out of 5 for climbing difficulty

How to Get There

Mt. Tanigawa can be reached by a combination of rail and other means of public transport, including buses.

The nearest shinkansen station is Jomo-Kogen Station. Take the bus from there to the Tanigawa Ropeway (50 minutes). From JR Minakami Station (Joetsu Line), it's a 20-minute bus ride. JR Doai Station is two stops after Minakami on the same line. It is a 1.3-kilometer walk to the ropeway entrance.

Great beauty and sudden change

Mt. Tanigawa belongs to the Joshinetsu National Park, which is on the border of Gunma and Niigata prefectures. The ridge divides the Pacific (south) and Sea of Japan (north) sides of the country, causing sudden and dramatic shifts in weather.

A must-see in all seasons

Most of the year, Mt. Tanigawa is covered in plentiful snow, making it a popular spot for intermediate and beginner skiers. As the snow melts, the cherry blossoms transform the mountainside to pink, vivid hues.

Autumn paints the slopes a stunning array of orange, red and brown tones, drawing hikers and sightseers.

Likewise, Mt. Tanigawa is a popular location for day trippers wanting to escape the summer heat. Take the Tanigawa Ropeway to Tenjindaira and enjoy the fantastic rugged mountain view.

Safety first

Despite being dwarfed by the likes of Mt. Fuji and the Yatsugatake Mountain Range , Mt. Tanigawa is a challenging climb. If you're tackling it, be sure you're properly equipped and familiar with the routes before embarking.

Avanlanches pose a major threat and winter climbing should be avoided by all but seasoned pros.

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