The icon of the Kiso Range (Central Alps), Houkendake is a 2,931-metre high knob of granite that looms over the Senjoujiki Cirque. Access to the cirque is very easy with a bus running from Komagane Station to a cable car station in the Chuo Alps Prefectural Park. The cable car takes you right up to the Senjoujiki Hotel in the cirque. There are trails leading out of the cirque, the most popular being the one north of Houkendake because it leads over to Kiso Komagatake, the highest peak in the Kiso Range and one of Japan’s Hyakumeizan (100 Famous Mountains). A trail leading out of the cirque to the south of Houkendake is the start of the route crossing over to Utsugidake and Minami Komagatake. The climb out of the cirque is steeper near the top but nothing more challenging than a sweaty walk. Reaching the summit of Houkendake, however, requires a bit of rock scrambling and hanging on to chains. From Houkendake one has a great view of the South Alps with Mt. Fuji rising up behind, as well as views to Ontakesan and Norikuradake. Because of the cable car and hotel the cirque can be accessed all year round. The heavy snow of winter, however, makes getting out of the cirque a much bigger challenge.
|Best months for climbing:||Aug, Sep, Oct|
|Nearest major airport:||Narita International Airport, Kansai International Airport|
|Convenient Center:||Ina City, Nagano|
Thanks to Peter Skov for adding this peak.
NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name
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