谷川連峰縦走 二泊三日 ~Part 1~ Walk through Tanigawa mountain range 2nights 3days ~Part 1~



Good day, guys! Taka is back! The scorching heat has stopped recently, and it’s been a comfortable weather here in Tokyo. I’m sure hot days will be back again, but autumn is coming soon. I’m excited! As I said many times, I HATE Japanese summer…





Where did you go during your summer holiday? It was Obon holiday (from 11th~15th Aug) here in Japan, so I walked through Tanigawa mountain range for 2 nights 3days with my friend from Gunma pref.

It was my first overnight trekking in Japan, but my gosh! It was absolutely memorable experiences… I’m going to post about my trekking records, and this is the first part. Nepal was wonderful, but Japanese mountains are also awesome!


~今回のルート  The trekking route~
First of all, I’ll show you our trekking route. We started from Doai station in Gunma Pref. We climbed up to Mt. Tanigawa via Nishikuro-One(It is called the three steepest slope in Japan). After that, we kept walking on the ridge, and this is the border of Gunma and Niigata Pref.  We stepped on the top of Mt. Mantarou, Mt. Sennokura, and Mt. Tairappyou, and then we got down to Naeba city in Niigata Pref. via Sankakuyama trekking route. Yep, our goal was an Onsen for sure! Hahaha.
There are many trekking routes around Tanigawa mountain range, but most of the people climb up only Mt. Tanigawa, or Mt. Sennokura for a day-hike. Some trekkers walk through our trekking route, but they make it for an overnight walk. However, we wanted to enjoy this beautiful ridge thoroughly, so we made it for 2 nights 3days.

~8/10 土合駅で野宿  10th Aug Sleep at Doai station~






On the 10th Aug, I knocked off working earlier (Yes, my company is flex-time!), and headed to my friend’s house by train.

On that day, it was a strong squally weather in Gunma pref, and the train stopped… but I could arrive at my friend’s place, and my friend’s wife sent us to Doai station. Thanks a lot!

We arrived at the station at midnight, and there were few trekkers sleeping already. It was spitting outside, but there was no one under the eaves, so we set up a tent, and slept a bit.



Just for you information, Doai station is known as “the deepest platform station”, and look at the stairs! At that time, it was midnight, so bit spooky… If you visit Doai station, please take a look at it.


~8/11 西黒尾根で谷川岳へ!  Climb up to Mt. Tanigawa via Nishikuro-One!~





We couldn’t sleep well… The rain stopped in the morning, but it looked like it was going to rain soon.

After packing and breakfast, we walked to the starting point. On the way, there is an information centre, and my friend’s friend is working there. We visited there for saying hi, and got water, but it had been lack of rain this year, so water place could dried up…

However, it was raining hard the other day, so there should be water on the ridge. Well, we really did hope so! By the way, there is a toilet at Doai station, but the water isn’t for drinking, be careful!





Well, let’s get started! We walked through woody corridor at the beginning. It was a bit slippery due to the rain, but there weren’t many people, so it was a comfortable walk.




However, it started rain, and it was getting a bit stronger. We were still under the trees, but when we reached to the ridge, there would be no covers. Thus, we decided to take a break till the rain got weaker. The height was still low, so we sweated a lot…





After taking a half hour break we resumed walking, as the rain got weaker. I prepared for this steep slope, but it wasn’t that hard. When we noticed, we reached to the ridge.

As you can see, there was still snow at Machiga-sawa valley, even it’s August!




You can enjoy the tough part of Mt. Tanigawa around here. My friend and I love the cliff with chains! It’s a bit hard to imagine by the pic, but you can definitely feel the height.




Some rocky parts were quite slippery due to the rain, but we made sure to keep our body secured by using 3 points of contact. It was scary, but great fun!




We safely climbed up the first chain spot, and reached to “Rakuda no se” =means the back of camel. However, the top my Mt. Tanigawa was still further, and I got hungry…




We could finally see the top. The top was almost there! but there were still rocky parts. We had got to focus.




From here on, the route was getting pretty rough. I looked back the route, and then the sky was a bit clear! What a divine scenery…It’s interesting that the weather was completely divided by the ridge.




We climbed up the last rocky part very carefully. I didn’t take a pic, but just in front of this part, we had to take a traverse on very slippery rocks. I saw some young trekkers were wearing sneakers, but you should wear solid boots for Mt. Tanigawa!


さて、毎度毎度の宣伝ですがアウトドア用品はTrekk innで購入すると、日本国内で買うより断然安く購入出来ますよ!僕もメレルの靴を昨年購入しました。


Well, let me put the ad of Trekk inn again! It could be much cheaper to buy outdoor stuff on their website! I did buy a pair of trekking shoes last year, and pretty satisfied.




Finally, we went through the rough rocky parts, and the top&a hut were almost there. However, the top was covered by dense fog, and there was almost no visibility…






It took about 5 hours to the lodge, which is located just under the top. There were many people as during Obon holiday, but most of them took “Tenjin-One” route. We didn’t see many people on our route…

We took lunch, and I couldn’t resist the temptation of beer, so I drunk it. Tasted soooo goood!

After having lunch, we put our bags at the lodge, and climbed up to the top.




It took about 3 mins from the lodge to the top. There are 2 tops in Mt.Tanigawa, and we reached to one of them ” Toma no mimi”. It wasn’t raining at that time, but there was no visibility… That was pity, but I’m going to visit here near the future for sure!




Well, we continued our way to today’s sleeping place. There was almost no trekker to Mt.Mantarou, and we truly enjoyed the complete silence. Yuppyyyyy!!!




As you can see, the route changed dramatically from the rocky surface to the grass. Many people imagine Mt.Tanigawa as a rugged mountain, but it actually has many faces. This route must be so beautiful when the weather is clear!




We enjoyed the easy route, but we suddenly encountered the narrow ridge. The right side is Niigata pref, and the left is Gunma. The dense fog made the atmosphere very fantastic!




We kept walking on the narrow ridge, and then we reached to one of the peaks called “Ozikasawa no kashira”. This day’s our sleeping spot should have be just under this peak! Man, it was a pretty hard day…




After a 7-hours-walk, we finally arrived at “Ozika hinangoya”. This shelter is made of Corrugated metal culvert pipe.


避難小屋の地図を添付しておきます。 この付近には水場はありませんので、十分な水を持参してくださいね! 一番近い水場は、大障子避難小屋付近までありません。


Please refer to the map, and check the location of the shelter. Mind you!  There is no water place near this shelter, so better bring a lot of water . The nearest water place is “Ooshoji Hinangoya”, which is the next shelter.





We opened up a door… The wooden floor was rotten, and the smell of mold! We knew it would be like this, so we brought a tent.

(It is officially forbidden to set up a tent in Tanigawa mountain range. However, some trekkers sleep in their tents. Of course, we NEVER leave any rubbish tho!)




We took a break, and cleaned up our bodies, the clouds were gone in a moment. We could see a town of Gunma pref! It must have been a great view, if the weather was fine.




The weather was still cloudy, and it looked like it was going to rain soon, so we set up the tent. There was a small space for setting up the tent, but the ground wasn’t flat.It was going to be a tough night…






When we realised, it was the time for dinner! Man, we’d had a long day, and we didn’t have a square meal… Starving!

Since we arrived at the shelter, the door had been open. The moisture, and smell was almost gone, so we took dinner in the shelter. We got a living room, and sleeping space separately… What a treat!

We had cup noodles, rice balls, and some pre-packaged foods! Yes, our bodies needed energy, and we really felt that our stomachs absorbed them! Hahaha. I can guarantee that Japanese instant foods are the BEST!




Hey, if you travel in Japan, and want to save money, better buy this small gas stove! This product is made by Iwatani, the Japanese leading company for portable stoves. I always take it with me for trekking, camping, or even to the parks to have a cup of coffee! You can buy gas cans in “One hundred yen shops”, so running cost is rather cheap. It’s a hand-held size, and very fast to boil water.



と言う事で、6時過ぎに寝袋に潜り込みました…続きはPart 2にてお送り致します!


Our stomachs got full, and it started spitting outside… We barely slept last night, and we walked pretty long the day.  Thus, we decided to sleep early!

We jumped into our sleeping bags at 6 PM… I’m going to post about the day 2 very shortly!


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