Slightly out-of-the-way, this trail is a little difficult to get to, but worth the effort. Affords great views of Mt Fuji 富士山 and Lake Yamanaka 山中湖 from October to May, and also well-known for its mountain azaleas during late May. The trail is a little challenging, with some very steep (there are ropes) and slippery sections. Proper hiking boots are recommended. There are also no facilities or shops along the track, so bring water and food. However, at the summit of Mt Syakushi 杓子山 is a nice picnic area. Due to the cost of the taxi to the trail head, it’s recommended that you do this hike with a friend or in a group.
Distance: not including taxi and bus -11km
Duration: 4.5-5 hours
Difficulty: medium (slippery and steep in places)
Season: Suitable all year, but snowy in the winter months
Starting point: Toriiji Pass 鳥居地峠
Finishing point: Uchino Bus Stop 内野バス停
A map of the hike can also be viewed at GPSies
There are many different and interesting hikes in this area, so I recommend you buy a map. The Mapple 山と高原地図 series number 31 map is of the Mt Fuji 富士山 region, and is available on Amazon.co.jp. Note, this map is in Japanese, but does include some English and furigana.
Firstly, there is no English signage on this hike, so take a map or a memo of the Kanji! However, the trail is well-defined, and doesn’t have many variations, so it’s fairly easy to follow.
From Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅, take the exit to the left and catch a taxi to Toriijidouge 鳥居地峠. The taxi will drop you off next to a forestry track on the right, signed Mt Takazasu 高座山 and Mt Syakushi 杓子山. Shortly along the track is the hiking trail on the left. Just keep following this trail up through a lightly forested area, and after about a kilometre you will enter a cleared area and be able to see the peak of Mt Takazasu 高座山 in front. From here, until Mt Takazasu 高座山, you will have great views of Mt Fuji 富士山.
You can access a road to the right, but just keep on forward to climb the very steep trail to the peak of Mt Takazasu 高座山. This section of the hike is quite slippery, and there is a rope if you need it. It should take about 50 minutes to reach Mt Takazasu 高座山 from Toriijidouge 鳥居地峠.
From the peak of Mt Takazasu 高座山 take the trail down the other side (north-east) signed Mt Syakushi 杓子山, and then up and down through another forested area until you reach Ozasudouge 大権道峠. Here at the pass is a Hang Glider Platform, and you should also have another view of Mt Fuji 富士山. It should take about 40 minutes to reach this point. Keep following the trail to the left of the Hang Glider Platform. From here the path will become steep again with ropes, but it should only take about 40 minutes to reach the peak of Mt Syakushi 杓子山.
Once again, from Mt Syakushi 杓子山 you have good views of Mt Fuji 富士山. There is also a bell and a couple of picnic tables to take a break. Once you have finished resting, take the path on the right (east). It’s a fairly flat walk to Mt Shishidome 鹿留山, and should take about 45 minutes. Before reaching the peak of Mt Shishidome 鹿留山, there is a Y intersection, and a sign pointing to Mt Shishidome 鹿留山 and Nijuumadouge 二十曲峠. To go to the peak of Mt Shishidome 鹿留山 take the path to the left. On Mt Shishidome 鹿留山 you can see some old Beech and Oak trees. It will only take 5 minutes from the intersection.
Once you are finished on Mt Shishidome 鹿留山, head back to the Y intersection and take the other trail towards Nijuumadouge 二十曲峠 down. The trail is quite steep and slippery going down in sections and there are ropes again. Head downhill for about 50 minutes, before you reach a small stone Buddha at Tachinzukadouge 立ノ塚峠. Now turn to the right and follow another forestry road, signed Uchino 内野. Eventually this road will become paved and have a few turn offs, but just keep headed on the main trail downhill.
After about 40 minutes you will enter into a farm area, which will soon give way to houses. When you reach the first main crossroad, take a right, and then a left and keep heading down towards town. At the 3rd intersection (and after crossing two rivers) take a right, and about 200 or 300 meters down the road will be the Uchino bus stop 内野バス停 on the left. This should take about 20 minutes from the farm area.
To and From
From Tokyo Station 東京駅, or Shinjuku Station 新宿駅, catch the JR Chuo line 中央線 to Otsuki 大月. You may need to change trains at Takao 高尾 to continue further out to Otsuki 大月. From Tokyo 東京, it should take approximately 1hour 40min and 1450 yen to Otsuki 大月. At Otsuki station 大月駅, change trains to the Fujikyuko line 富士急行線. Note, on the Fujikyuko line 富士急行線 you can not use a Suica or Pasmo, and you will have to buy a ticket quickly as sometimes the transfer time is short. Travel on the Fujikyoko line 富士急行線 for 46min until you reach Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅. This leg of the train journey costs 990 yen. For an English timetable of the Fujikyuko line 富士急行線 click here.
From Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅 catch a taxi to Toriijidouge 鳥居地峠, which take about 15min and costs between 2000 and 3000 yen.
From Uchino Bus Stop 内野バス停, catch the bus back to Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅. Cost is 450 yen, and it takes 23min. The timetable (in Japanese) can be found here. Pasmo and Suica cards can be used on the bus.
From Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅, make your way back to Tokyo 東京, opposite the directions above.
Alternatively, you may wish to buy a combination JR Holiday Pass ホリデー・パス and Otsuki Ofuku ticket 大月往復きっぷ if you are going on a Saturday or a holiday (Including Sundays and national holidays). The combination ticket will save you 840 yen if you are travelling from Shinjuku 新宿. The JR Holiday pass ホリデー・パス will cover all JR local train travel within the pass area, for one day, for 2,300 yen. See the JR website for details on the Holiday pass ホリデー・パス. The Otsuki Ofuku ticket 大月往復きっぷ will cover return travel to Fuji Yoshida station 富士吉田駅, over 2 days, for 1,400 yen. See the Fujikyu Railway 富士急行 website for details on the Otsuki Ofuku ticket 大月往復きっぷ and the combination ticket 大月往復きっぷ＋ホリデー・パス (only in Japanese). Both tickets can be bought from JR Midori no Madoguchi ＪＲみどりの窓口 or travel agents, from one month in advance.
Fujikyuko Line timetable http://www.fujikyu-railway.jp/forms/info/info.aspx?info_id=4031
Fujikyu Bus line timetable from Uchino Bus Stop to Fuji Yoshida Station (Japanese) http://bus.fujikyu.co.jp/line/jikokuhyo/07.html
JR Holiday Pass information http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/pass/holiday_pass.html
Otsuki Ofuku Ticket information (Japanese) http://www.fujikyu-railway.jp/forms/info/info.aspx?info_id=4223
Holiday Pass + Otsuki Ofuku Ticket information (Japanese) http://www.fujikyu-railway.jp/forms/info/info.aspx?info_id=8611
My Flickr photo set from Mt Takazasu, Mt Syakushi and Mt Shishidome http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157624187603334/
A slideshow of photos from another member of the group I hiked with http://www.m-miyata.jp/yama/Syakusiyama1005.html
Map of hike on GPSies http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=jvqgzcenfiyrbcmt
Fuji Yoshida Station 富士吉田駅
Toriiji Pass (Toriijidouge) 鳥居地峠
Mt Takazasu 高座山
Mt Syakushi 杓子山
Mt Shishidome 鹿留山
Uchino Bus Stop (Uchino basu tei) 内野バス停
Mt Fuji 富士山
Lake Yamanaka 山中湖
Tokyo Station 東京駅
Shinjuku Station 新宿駅
JR Chuo line 中央線
Fujikyuko line 富士急行線
JR Holiday Pass ホリデー・パス
Otsuki Ofuku ticket 大月往復きっぷ
JR Midori no Madoguchi ＪＲみどりの窓口