Route: Chuo Alps Traverse (Japan)

Submitted by MukimukiRunner on Mon, 11/08/2021 - 06:38pm
Nagano, JP
44.9 km
Vertical Gain
4,084 m

The Chuo Alps Traverse starts in Ina City towards the top of a mountain road at a university research hut that studies the local fauna, plants, and weather which connects to a trailhead and heads south along the ridgeline and finishes at an old post down, Odaira-Juku. The Chuo Alps are smaller and tamer than the Kita and Minami alps and are seen to be more beginner-friendly. However, two of the 100 famous mountains of Japan are along the route: Kiso-Komagatake (2956m) and Utsugidake (2864m). 

Breakdown: The start of the trail is a steep ascent for about 10km up towards the first of the two, Hyakumeizan along the trail. The next 10km are several small ascents and descents until you reach the second Hyakumeizan, Utsugidake. After that, the trail heads down with several climbs sprinkled in until the last 10km, which is completely downhill and transitions to an old forestry road and ends at Odaira-Juku. 

Traffic: Most of the traffic is along a 1km stretch between Kiso-Komagatake and Hosendake as many people take a local ropeway up the mountain as a popular sightseeing spot. You might also encounter some traffic from the station down to Utsugidake but as you get farther and farther from the station traffic drops dramatically. 

Start Point: Shinshu University Nishikoma Station Katsura Koba

End Point: Odaira Kaido at the end of the Higashisawa Rindo.

GPS Track


Above Mt. Hoken at Hoken Sanso, a mountain hut and where the gpx route diverges from the ridgeline, following the ridgeline instead of heading down to Senjojiki Cirque is fine. This change shortens the route and elevation gain and by a little. I will see if it is possible to update the gpx file.