The trail to Mt Hiwada 日和田山 is very versatile, and can be used as a starting point to hike further into Chichibu 秩父, or as an easy walk back to Hanno Station 飯能駅 as described here. If you are able to do the hike in late September, Kinchakuda 巾着田 has spectacular Spider Lilies before you head towards Koma Pass 高麗峠. With plenty of shops and bathrooms in the area, and only a 300m high peak, this hike is perfect for families, or people wanting to have a stroll through nature.
Duration: 3 and a half hours
Difficulty: easy (very very!)
Season: Suitable all year, maybe a little snow in winter months
Starting point: Koma Station 高麗駅
Finishing point: Hanno Station 飯能駅
A full map of the hike can also be viewed at GPSies
There are a lot of different and interesting hikes in the Chichibu 秩父 area, so I recommend you buy a map, particularly if you are just using Mt Hiwada 日和田山 as a starting point. The Mapple 山と高原地図 series number 22 map is of the Oku-Musahino 奥武蔵 and Chichibu 秩父 region, and is available on Amazon.co.jp. Note, this map is in Japanese, but does include some English and furigana.
From Koma Station 高麗駅 exit, turn right and follow the road under the train lines to the intersection. Cross the road and keep going in approximately the same direction from the station down a small residential street. You will cross another road before the street turns to the left. Keep following this road until you reach a main road, and turn right. Cross the river and take the street up to the left at the next set of traffic lights. If you need to pick up some supplies there is a 7-11 a little further down the main road.
Follow the road up to the left until you see the trail marker for Mt Hiwada 日和田山 (the 3rd street on the left). Head up this street and where the street curves to the right you’ll see the trail heads for Mt Hiwada 日和田山. There is also a rest area and bath rooms here. It should only take about 15 minutes to reach this point.
While there are a few different trails you can start on, the main trail is on the right, and its the widest and most well-defined path. Follow the trail up for about 10 minutes until you reach a stone Torii gate. Here the path splits into two trails, with the trail on the left being rocky and difficult (take caution if you use this trail), and the trail on the right being easy.
Continue up on the easy path for about 15 minutes and you will reach Kotahira Shrine 金刀比羅神社. The Shrine is a good view-point, from which you can see views of Oku Chichibu 奥秩父, Oku Tama 奥多摩, and even Mt Fuji 富士山 on a good day. To reach the summit, follow the trail on the right of the shrine, it should only take about 5 minutes to reach the top.
From the summit you can continue on towards Mt Takasasu 高指山, Mt Monomi 物見山 and Musashi Yokote Station 武蔵横手駅, if you want to do more hiking in the mountains. Although in Japanese, this Seibu Website has more information about the hike to Mt Takasasu 高指山, and a map. Otherwise, retrace your steps back down Mt Hiwada 日和田山 to the main road. It should only take about 30 minutes to return.
Once you reach the road, take the first road to the left (before crossing the bridge) and follow the river around to reach Kinchakuda 巾着田, a flower garden within a circular part of Koma River 高麗川. During late September and early October the Spider Lilies should be in bloom, and there will be plenty of people about.
Entrance to Kinchakuda 巾着田 is 200 yen, and it will take about 40 minutes to walk from the entrance to the wooden Aiai Bridge あいあい橋 on the other side of the circle and then back to the concrete Do-Re-Me-Fa Bridge ドレミファ橋 in the middle of the circle. Once you have strolled amongst the flowers, cross the Do-Re-Me-Fa Bridge ドレミファ橋 to exit Kinchakuda 巾着田 and start on the trail to Koma Pass 高麗峠 and Hanno station 飯能駅.
Follow the path up to the left until you reach a road. Here there’s a marker pointing out the Musashino Nature Walking trail 武蔵野自然遊歩道 to Koma Pass 高麗峠. Turn right, and the road will soon become trail again. It should only take about 20 minutes to reach Koma Pass 高麗峠, where the trail splits. If you head to the left the trail will take you round past Miyazawa Lake 宮沢湖 before going back to the Nakayama Nishi 中山西 Intersection, while the trail to the right heads straight to the same intersection. It will only take about 20 minutes to come to the road if you use the direct trail.
One you leave the forest, cross the road at the Nakayama Nishi 中山西 intersection, and follow the road straight ahead. As it curves to the left, there is another trail on the right, up a hill there towards Mt Tenran 天覧山 and Nonin Temple 能仁寺. If you want to skip the temple keep to the road, and turn left at the second traffic lights. Just follow the road sign pointing to Higashi Hanno Station 飯能駅. Three traffic lights later turn right to go to Hanno Station 飯能駅 (again, there is a road sign pointing the way to the station). At the end of the road you’ll come to Hanno Station 飯能駅. It should take about 30 minutes from the turn off to Mt Tenran 天覧山 and Nonin Temple 能仁寺.
To and From
From Seibu Ikebukuro Station 西武池袋駅 take the Seibu Ikebukuro line 西武池袋線 Rapid Express 快急 or Express 急行 bound for either Hanno 飯能 or Seibu Chichibu 西武秩父, if you catch a train bound for Hanno 飯能, you will need to transfer to a local train bound for Seibu Chichibu 西武秩父 at Hanno 飯能. Get off the train at Koma Station 高麗駅, which is approximately 60 minutes and 510 yen from Ikebukuro 池袋. The Seibu line also runs a Limited Express 特急 which will take you to Hanno station 飯能駅 in approximately 50 minutes, for an extra 410 yen. If you catch the catch the Limited Express 特急 remember to change to a local train bound for Seibu Chichibu 西武秩父 at Hanno Station 飯能駅.
The return fare from Hanno Station 飯能駅 to Ikebukuro 池袋 is 450 yen, and takes 50 minutes on the Express 急行.
Kinchakuda (Japanese) http://www.kinchakuda.com/
My Flickr photo set from Mt Hiwada http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelelisa/sets/72157624974213737/with/5053114941/
Map of hike on GPSies http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=huvzccgduxzseifd
Aiai Bridge あいあい橋
Do-Re-Me-Fa Bridge ドレミファ橋
Hanno Station 飯能駅
Koma Pass 高麗峠
Koma River 高麗川
Koma Station 高麗駅
Kotahira Shrine 金刀比羅神社
Miyazawa Lake 宮沢湖
Mt Fuji 富士山
Mt Hiwada 日和田山
Mt Monomi 物見山
Mt Takasasu 高指山
Mt Tenran 天覧山
Musashino Shizen Walking trail 武蔵野自然遊歩道
Musashi Yokote Station 武蔵横手駅
Nakayama Nishi 中山西
Nonin Temple 能仁寺
Oku Chichibu 奥秩父
Oku Tama 奥多摩
Rapid Express 快急
Seibu Ikebukuro line 西武池袋線
Seibu Ikebukuro Station 西武池袋駅
Seibu Chichibu 西武秩父
Limited Express 特急