This post is the 3rd out of 3 about traversing the Japanese Northern Alps (北アルプス). Henceforth, I will describe the trek from Yaridaira (槍平小屋) over Mt Okumaru (奥丸山) to Shinhotaka Onsen (新穂高温泉). For part 1 from Kamikochi (上高地) to Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) klick here, for part 2 from Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) to Yaridaira Hut (槍平小屋) klick here.
Starting off at Yaridaira Camping Ground (槍平キャンプ場), the sunrise was kind of a letdown because by the time the sun came up, it had already been bright daylight for at least 1.5 hours. Nevertheless, after some coffe it was time to pack up and go. The tent was decidedly wet because the camp ground is located right next to a river.
The plan was to hike up to Mt Okumaru which is on the chain of mountains right opposite (west) of Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) – Hotakadake (穂高岳). Then, walk along the ridge to get one last good view of Mt Hotaka and then descend into the western valley where Wasabi Hut (ワサビ平小屋) is located. From there, walk the road down all the way to Shinhotaka Onsen (新穂高温泉) from where a bus would take us back to our car at the parking lot.
From the upper part of the trail we could get a really good look at the previous day’s hike down from Mt Minami (南岳) to Yaridaira (槍平). The old path used to go down on the center-left of the image, whereas it now followed the ridge on the center-right and then went straight down towards the hut, an altitude change of approx. 1000m.
From the top of Mt Okumaru (奥丸山) at 2440m, we had a beautiful view of the Yarigatake (槍ヶ岳) – Hotakadake (穂高岳) ridge with the Daikiretto (大キレット) being center-right, looking like someone carved a huge bit of rock from the mountain.
The way down was kind of long and forest-y, it became apparent that not many people take this path. The secluded-ness made it kind of nice – we didn’t meet a single person in fact.
There were also nice views to the other side, towards Mt Nukedo (抜戸岳), 2813m, before we headed down into the valley.
At the intersection of the trail from Mt Okumaru (奥丸山) to the Wasabi Hut (わさび平), there is one more path which continues on the ridge towards Shinhotaka-Onsen (新穂高温泉). However, it really seemed like not many people at all hiked it recently. It’s also not anymore on the latest Japanese Gov. Maps: here. Therefore we chose to descend.
The further down the trial, the greener the environment got!
Until we finally arrived at the Mt Okumaru (奥丸山) trial head at 1960m.
Crossing an abandoned vehicle bridge there, an Ent stood in the river!!!
For some reason, this area had lots of huge, man-made water ways developed for what seemed like the snow melting season. That probably required large machinery thus the abandoned overdimensioned bridges..
At last, we got a small preview of what Autumn in Kamikochi would be like!
At the Shinhotaka Onsen station, the bus was already waiting for us. Right at the ropeway entry is a foot bath (足の湯), which is a great way to relax your feet after a strenous but amazing trip.
I’m happy to answer questions/provide a GPX track of the tour :)