Time Required: 6 h 55 min. Distance: 12.9 km
This course traverses the three major peaks of the Nasu Mountain Range: Mt. Chausu, Mt. Asahi, and Mt. Sanbon-yari. Each peak has its own unique landscape to explore from the active volcano of Mt. Chausu and the rock cliffs of Mt. Asahi, to the lush green vegetation of Mt. Sanbon-yari. And as you trek across the ridges, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Nasu Mountain Range. Start from the Toge-no-chaya parking lot and climb up Mt. Chausu, cross over to the rugged-faced Mt. Asahi and lastly, the green summit of Mt. Sanbon-yari, where you will descend via Naka-no-okura Ridge. Other options include heading to the Santo-goya Onsen from Mt. Sanbon-yari via the Otoge Pass or using the ropeway to ascend the mountains and the Nasu Gondola to descend (it is also possible to do the course in reverse). There are many ways to adjust the course according to your stamina level as well, such as choosing to hike only the two peaks of Mt. Chausu and Mt. Asahi.
* Note that toilets and bodies of water are only available at the Toge-no-chaya parking lot and the ropeway stations. Also, please check the bus schedule for the Kitayu Iriguchi bus stop before making your trip.
Characterized by its barren and rugged rock face, Mt. Asahi is 1,896 meters high and is the only pointed peak in the Nasu Mountain Range. A stunning panoramic view of the Kanto Plain awaits at the summit, but make sure you are very careful when passing the rocky area with chains on the way up.
You will find a shelter hut in the col between Mt. Chausu and Mt. Asahi built at the former location of Minenochaya. This hut serves as a resting point for people who come to climb Mt. Chausu and other peaks of the Nasu Mountain Range. From here, you can see the impressive rocky face of Mt. Asahi towering right before your eyes and, if the weather is nice, a view of the mountains of the Aizu region to the west. * Please be cautious at this location, as it is notorious for its strong winds.
At 1,917 meters, Mt. Sanbon-yari is the highest peak in the Nasu Mountain Range. The name Sanbon-yari, meaning "three spears," is associated with a dispute between the three feudal lords of the Aizu, Nasu, and Kurobane Domains in which they laid claim to contested land on the summit of Mt. Sanbon-yari by thrusting their spears into the ground. Once you reach the top of Mt. Sanbon-yari, you can look out at the seemingly competing peaks of the surrounding mountains that spread out in all directions, including Mt. Asahi and Mt. Chausu to the south; Mt. Nagareishi, Mt. Okura, and Mt. Mikura on the border of Tochigi and Fukushima Prefectures; and Mt. Iide, Mt. Bandai, and Mt. Azuma to the north in the distance.