A well signed (albeit mainly in Japanese) hike through the Tanzawa 丹沢 mountain range. Quite steep and slippery in places, and also quite long, this hike is worth it for the beautiful azaleas near the peak of Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸 (mid-May to June), waterfalls and beech tree forests. Just make sure you start early in the day to make the last bus, or there are many places to camp and mountain huts nearby, so staying overnight and doing more exploring in the area is an option. During the winter and spring there are also views of Mt Fuji 富士山.
Duration: 7 to 8 hours
Difficulty: medium (slippery and steep in places, also quite long)
Season: Suitable all year, maybe a little snow in winter months
Starting point: Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu Bus Stop 西丹沢自然教室バス停
Finishing point: Houkizawakoenbashi Bus Stop 箒沢公園橋バス停
A full 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 28 map is of the Tanzawa 丹沢 region, and is available on Amazon.co.jp. Note, this map is in Japanese, but does include some English and furigana.
You’ll start this hike from the final bus stop on the line, Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu Bus Stop 西丹沢自然教室バス停. At the bus stop there is the Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu 西丹沢自然教室 (Nature Classroom), where you should leave your name, contact details and blood type, for emergencies whist on the trail. They also display up to date trail information, and the last bathroom before Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸 is here.
Once you have finished at the Shizen Kyoshitsu 自然教室, continue walking up the road from the bus stop. You will soon cross a bridge over a river, and see signs pointing to a camp site. After about 10 minutes you will see a small creek on the right, and a sign pointing to Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸. Walk up the creek for 50 meters, and on your left will be some stairs. These stairs lead to the start of the trail. The first 20 minutes or so will be uphill, but after that the trail will level out until you reach Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合. It should take 60 minutes from the trail head to Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合.
Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合 is a river crossing, but the river is small, and not deep. It’s mostly a rocky riverbed, with some man-made waterfalls nearby. Cross the river and follow on its right hand side until you reach some stairs. Once again climb the stairs to return to the trail. Shortly after Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合 there is a bench if you want to stop and rest. From Gorazawadeai ゴーラ沢出合 you have entered the ‘New Azalea Road’ つつじ新道, and the trail will become steep.
After another 60 minutes you will reach another bench and a viewpoint at Tenboenchi 展望園地. From here it’s another hour until the next intersection, and the trail becomes steeper still. However, you will start to see more mountain azaleas along the way. At the intersection take the path to the left up, signed Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸.
This section of the trail is boarded (see the picture next to ‘Quick Overview’), and is a nice easy climb that should only take 10 to 20 minutes. It is also quite pretty, with some old gnarled and mossy trees. Not far before the summit you will pass some solar panels on the right.
At the summit of Hinokiboramaru 檜洞丸 there is a marker, small stone shrine, and a couple of benches. You can also head down the trail on the opposite side of the summit if you want to use the toilet at the mountain hut. It’s only 5 minutes, and they ask you pay a tip of 50 yen to use the facilities (don’t forget tissues either!). The mountain hut also sells a very small selection of food and drink, but it’s a little expensive.
To start down, return along the boarded walk to the intersection, and take the other trail marked for Hokisawa 箒沢. There are a couple of intersections along this trail, but if you take the trail to the right each time you will be headed to Hokisawakoen 箒沢公園.
The first part of the decent is fairly easy, and goes through a nice beech tree forest. You will pass another trail to Dougakuyama 同角山 after 10 minutes, and then shortly a bench, before climbing a little to the peak of Teshironoatama テシロノ頭. Continuing down hill you will pass another bench before seeing a very large old moss-covered tree (see below). Not long after this is the second alternative trail, but again keep to the right towards Hokisawa 箒沢. It should have taken about 60 minutes to this intersection from the one before.
From now the trail becomes much steeper, despite climbing another couple of peaks, Yabusawanoatama ヤブ沢ノ頭 followed by Itagoyasawanoatama 板小屋沢ノ頭. There will be sections with ropes to help you down, and some slippery sections without.
From the last intersection it should take about 90 minutes to reach another river, which you will follow on the right hand side for most of the rest of the hike. The final 20 minutes along side the river is much easier than the last few hours, but still there are some slippery places and stairs to climb up and down. Just keep the river on your left for about 15 minutes, until you reach a river crossing. Cross the river, and following it until you can cross back over again. Only a little further along the trail you will find the Oishi Camping ground 大石キャンプ場, which has a number of cabins as well.
Cross the bridge in front of the camping ground to reach the main road, turn right and the Houkizawakoenbashi Bus Stop 箒沢公園橋バス停 is only a few meters up the road.
To and From
From Shinjuku Station 新宿駅 take the Odakyu Line 小田急線 express 急行 headed to Odawara and jump off at Shin Matsuda 新松田, 84 minutes and 750 yen. A line map of the Odakyu lines 小田急線 can be found here (in English). Take the North exit 北口, and then catch the Fujikyu bus 富士急バス from Stop 1 to Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu 西丹沢自然教室, 1150 yen and 70 minutes. A timetable of the Fujikyu Bus 富士急バス can be found here for Saturday, and here for Sunday (only Japanese).
On the return, catch the bus back to Shin Matsuda 新松田 from Houkizawakoenbashi Bus Stop 箒沢公園橋バス停, 60 minutes and 1050yen. Then catch the express back to Shinjuku 新宿 on the Odakyu line 小田急線, 84 minutes and 750 yen.
Fujikyu Bus Schedule for Saturdays http://www.fujikyu.co.jp/syonan/rosen_time/time01_s.html
Fujikyu Bus Schedule for Sunday http://www.fujikyu.co.jp/syonan/rosen_time/time01_h.html
Odakyu Rail Map http://www.odakyu.jp/english/route/railmap/index.html
My Flickr photo set from Mt Hinokiboramaru http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157624111661525/
Photos from another member of the group I hiked with http://www.m-miyata.jp/yama/Hinokiboramaru1006.html
Map of hike on GPSies http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=kmnhlwuwyoyogyxp
Mt Fuji 富士山
Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu 西丹沢自然教室
Nishi Tanzawa Shizen Kyoshitsu Bus Stop 西丹沢自然教室バス停
Houkizawakoenbashi Bus Stop 箒沢公園橋バス停
‘New Azalea Road’ つつじ新道
Oishi Camping ground 大石キャンプ場
Shinjuku Station 新宿駅
Odakyu Line 小田急線
Shin Matsuda 新松田
North exit 北口
Fujikyu bus 富士急バス