SLOWING DOWN

We would like to introduce you to a the natural and slow pace of the Japanese Alps. This region is full of natural beauty and contrast that is best enjoyed slowly. We do hope you will get out and enjoy being active in the outdoors, we also hope you will also enjoy the slow pace of life close to nature.

GETTING ACTIVE

The best way to enjoy the pristine beauty of the Japanese Alps to get active in the outdoors. We hope the ideas will inspire you as you plan your next adventure.

CLIMBING IN THE
JAPANESE ALPS

The Northern Alps, where Japanese mountaineering took root, remain a favored destination for many local and international visitors who come to experience the rugged landscape, seasonal variety, and stunning views.
HIKING TIPS
● When hikers going in opposite directions meet, those who are ascending have priority.
● Rocks on the trails are sometimes marked with a circle for the correct path or an X for a direction to avoid.
● When a dislodged rock can endanger people below, hikers call out “Raku!” an abbreviation of rakuseki (“falling rock”). Conveniently, raku is pronounced much like the word “rock.”
● The mountain slopes can be very steep, and going off-trail may not only damage the environment but also place you in danger.
● Listen to advice from mountain-hut staff, who are knowledgeable
about their surroundings.
● Helmets are recommended for some of the more difficult sections.
● The weather can change very quickly in alpine locations. Be prepared and check forecasts often.
● Headlamps can be lifesavers when hikers are caught by nightfall
on the trail, or for predawn departures.
● A hiking registration form should be submitted at the trailhead
or on the Internet. This is extremely important in case of emer-
gencies.
● In the case of an accident, you may incur costs for searching and
rescuing. It is advisable to take out mountaineering insurance or travel accident insurance that covers hiking (it is possible to apply for this at a vending machine in Kamikochi)
● A navigation app is effective to prevent losing your way (there is a free English version). It is best to install it on your smartphone in advance, and download map data of your destination.
TIPS FOR LODGING
AT MOUNTAIN HUTS
Lights Out/Lights On

Depending on the hut, the lights will be turned off at 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. and back on at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. Many hikers are in bed even earlier than 8:00 p.m., so everyone tends to quieten down by then. It is also customary to pack early the night before so as not to wake others with noisy preparations.

Water: The Source of Life

Water is an extremely precious resource at high altitudes. The availability and quantity at the huts depend on how close they are to a water source, but all of them strive to conserve water. Some may even charge for its use, depending on the collec- tion method.

Reservations

Where possible, reservations should be made in advance. Not all mountain huts accept reservations, however, so carefully researching your options in advance is a must. If you have a reservation but decide to cancel your stay due to bad weather or for any other reason, be sure to inform the hut. The nonarrival of guests with reservations raises concerns about possible accidents on the trail.

Waste Not

Everyone is asked to carry out any garbage they generate. Toilet rules vary from hut to hut. Some require used toilet paper to be placed in a waste basket next to the toilet. Toilet waste is either carried out of the park or broken down through a waste treatment system, both of which re- quire considerable effort. While guests staying at the huts and campsites can use the toilets free of charge, others are asked to contribute about ¥100 per use.

Too Close for Comfort

The huts can get very crowded during peak season and on weekends. They never refuse anyone in need of shelter, so sharing a futon mattress is a possibility. If you fear becoming claustrophobic, avoid weekends and the peak seasons.

Cash

Most of the mountain huts do not accept credit cards, so be sure to bring cash for payment.

MOUNTAIN
CLIMBING MAPS
English trail maps are available for download below.