Mt Ashitaka (愛鷹山)

13 April 2024
Mt Ashitaka (愛鷹山)

I climbed Mt Ashitaka (愛鷹山, Ashitaka-yama) as my 22nd mountain in the 36 views of Fuji series. Confusingly, the name "Mt Ashitaka" is used to refer to the collective set of peaks in the area, as well as the specific peak that I visited. Mt Ashitaka itself has an elevation of 1187m, but I also climbed the Mt Ashitaka area in January when I visited its highest peak, Echizen-dake.

The trail first takes you up to 池の平 (Ike-no-taira), which is a little lookout that gives you a clear view of Mt Ashitaka, the final peak in the course.

easy climb
Looking back to see the ocean views
ike no taira
池の平 (Ike-no-taira), where you can see the peak of Mt Ashitaka on the left

The peaks always look deceptively far away! From here the course gets steeper, and it's onwards to 位牌岳 (Ihai-dake).

the climb
The steep climb
first mt fuji
Your first glimpse of Mt Fuji

When hiking in winter and spring, I'm fairly conscious of the elevation of the mountains that I climb. The higher you go, the more chance there is of snow, and I generally steer clear of it, especially since I'm hiking solo. I thought I was safe with Mt Ashitaka, since it's just shy of 1200m, but what I didn't realise that was Ihai-dake actually is the highest peak in the course with an elevation of 1457m. Oops!

the snow
My first glimpse of snow

From about the 1200m mark, the path got pretty snowy. Luckily, the trail was still walkable without any equipment, so it was nice to get a little "snow hike" in. Probably my last one until next winter rolls around.

more snow even more snow
ihai dake
The summit of 位牌岳 (Ihai-dake)
mt fuji
Today's Mt Fuji view

From Ihai-dake its a gradual descent down towards 袴腰岳 (Hakamagoshi-dake) which has an elevation of 1247m, and so I saw the snow start to gradually disappear.

The ridgeline along the left is what you walk along
snow continues
The final stretch of snow
hakamagoshi dake
The summit of 袴腰岳 (Hakamagoshi-dake)

The course today had a total elevation gain of 1190m over 13km. I haven't really been doing any long courses this year, so this one definitely tested my stamina - I also realised I probably need to bring more food! I was super hungry by the end of it.

trail to final summit

As you finally approach Mt Ashitaka, you first descend down the hill a little bit before beginning the final climb.

descent and climb
The peak of Mt Ashitaka
another fuji
As you climb Mt Ashitaka, you also get another view of Mt Fuji
mt ashitaka
Finally, the summit!

The climb up Mt Ashitaka is very steep and muddy. Luckily there is plenty of rope so it's still doable, but it would definitely be a pain if there wasn't. You'll have to revisit the same path as you descend back the way you came for a little bit before turning at the fork.

rope descent
These ropes came in handy

From here it's just over another 90mins of descent before I reached the carpark at which I started at. I was very tired by this point!

You first start off in the forest
gravel descent
But soon you're on a gravel road
long road
The long road down

My spirit was especially broken by the one last climb you have to make up the road to get back to the carpark.

final climb
Just when you think the climbing is over, there's more uphill
Back to civilization!

Hiking course details

Date climbedLengthCourse time
2024-03-1513.6km7h 24min (the expected time for an average hiker without breaks)

This is a loop course beginning and ending at the carpark. Unfortunately it doesn't look too accessible by public transport.

There is a bio toilet available at the carpark.

If you just want to climb Mt Ashitaka itself, you could do an out-and-back course. However I found this part of the course was the most boring as it was mostly road, so I would recommend giving the loop course the time if you have confidence in your stamina.

Car access details

Car parkTime (from Tokyo)Round trip cost
長泉町森林公園 駐車場 (ながいずみちょう しんりんこうえん ちゅうしゃじょう)2h~8300 yen

This carpark is pretty big, and was very empty on a weekday.

I struggled to find this one via search in Google Maps, so you may need to use YAMAP to get the specific GPS coordinates.

Related tags

Check out some of my other posts!

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Mt Hirugatake (蛾ヶ岳)
10 May
Mt Ashiwada (足和田山)
Mt Ashiwada (足和田山)
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Myojinyama (明神山)
Myojinyama (明神山)
26 April
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