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Published on 06.03.2016
Japan is home to many beautiful mountains. Mount Ontake extended over two prefectures of Gifu and Nagano is one of these. As one of Japan's highest mountains, second after Mount Fuji, it is challenging and rewarding to climb. Mount On-take has been well known as Japan’s holy mountain and the destination for religious pilgrimage for a long time. Today it additionally attracts people for its rich and magnificent nature.
There are various climbing routes including the Kaida-guchi route, the Kurosawa-guchi route, the Otaki-guchi route, and the Nigorigo-guchi route. Nigorigo-guchi route is one of the best points to start as the path is numbered to suggest hikers about the length they have gone and give an estimation of time it would take to the next key point. This is the oldest mountain trail leading through the primeval forest which is home to grown conifers, squirrels and martens. There are several temples, shrines and numerous religious monuments on the path. Hikers can also find resthouses where hot drinks, meals and snacks are offered at very reasonable prices.
At the Hida-side summit in the north range, hikers immediately feel rewarded when encounter a pond whose color changes from emerald green to cobalt blue. Hikers also can enjoy the spectacular view over the Alp. On clear days, they may have a chance to see Mount Fuji from more than 160 kilometres away. Moreover, a profusion of alpine wildflowers are found blooming on a marsh, making very magnificent views.
Reaching the top of Mount Ontake travellers may feel overwhelm with satisfaction and sense of time is lost in the vastness of the surrounding landscape. It is advisable for them to take commemorative photos in front of the altitude marker.
Getting to Nigorigo Onsen
○By car via (1) National highway No. 41 (the Takayama area), prefectural road Route 437, prefectural road Route 441 from Gero Onsen; or (2) via National highway No. 41 (the Gero area), prefectural road Route 437, prefectural road Route 441 from Takayama
(1) Getting off at JR Takayama Main Line Hida-Osaka Station
(2) Getting off at JR Takayama Main Line Gero Station
Taxi from JR Takayama Main Line Hida-Osaka Station to Nigorigo Onsen takes around one hour 20 minutes and need reservation