Mt. Chokai Reviews
Weather in Japan in August is problematic to say the least. If you want to go to the top of a mountain, think twice. We went to 4 mountains besides Chokai and only could see the top of one: Mt... more »
Chokaisan is one of my favorite mountains in all of Japan. While the hike itself is difficult (about five hours up, three and a half down), I can honestly say it is one of my favorite memories from... more »
I had a chance to hike Mt. Chokai on August 12th. It was one of the best hiking I have ever had. There are many trails but the most popular one is the Hokodate trail. I arrived here at around 8:30 and it was packed already. Not only hikers but also nature lovers and campers were there to enjoy the spectacular scenery. The weather was awesome. You can take a pleasure of seeing Nihon kai (Japan Sea) after a beautiful green nature. Hokodate has restaurants, shops, information center, bathrooms, vending machines, observation deck etc. pretty much everything you will need. The trail starts across the road behind the rest house. Don’t forget to fill out the hiking form for safety. The course stars very smooth and nice path. Then a well maintained road with lots of big rocks comes. The rocks are flatted and placed well on the way. There is an observation deck after 5-10 min but no need to wast time here since there are other places on the way. After an hour you cross the intersection of two small mountains. This place had a great view with lots of flowers and snow on top of the mountains. After a short descending you will climb a steep section. This part might be a bit challenging but you will forgot everything once you reach the top of this section. There is a hut here. Good place for a break. I was sitting and watching the scenery in the front section but realized that the Chokai lake can be seen behind section. So just go around the hut and enjoy the Chikai Lake’s amazing scenery. Some people return from this point after having a walk around the lake. If you like to make the summit than just keep going by following the signs behind the hut. The rocks in this sections are more random which makes it a bit harder to walk. I am sure you will stop time to time to take photo of both Chokai-ko and the mountains on the other side. After about 20 min you will see a descending section follows with another peak. It was my first time hiking here so I thought this is the peak of Mt. Chokai. Actually it is just half way through. However the scenery and path were breathtaking. Before starting to ascend this peak you will see another path joins from the right side. This is the one coming from the waterfalls trail ( Ichinotaki, ninotaki ). From this point on the path becomes narrower and challenging. Once you reach the peak of this section you will see a small sitting area where you can have a short break. Soon you will see another sign at the fork. The right one goes through 3 different mountain peaks before the Chokai’s summit. Seemed too challenging. The left one goes to the hut near to the summit. I went from the left one. You can go from left and come back from the right one. The left section turns more challenging and steeper. You descend first and climb up to through rocky path. The first section is very and very slippery. Take your time, don’t rush. It was very crowded and I had to wait people in-front of me. You can see the summit from this point but it is not a direct path. You will go behind the mountain. You will see the signs every 15-30 min. It took me more the an hour to reach the summit from this point. On the way you will see some people on the top of the mountains on your right side. This is the other path goes to the summit. Once I saw the hut I had relief to reach up to here. The hut is big. There is a restaurant, a museum, a temple, bathrooms etc. You can buy drinks or have a cup of noodles. However this is not the peak yet. On your left you will see the big scary rocks. Just follow the white arrows. Don’t look back, just keep going. It is normally a 30 min climbing the peak. The peak is very small. Just take a photo with the sign and respect other people. This is the Shinzan peak 2136m (Mt. Chokai) Although you can descend from the same path there is another path on the other section to go back to the hut. Alternatively you can follow the path that goes to the peak of the other mountains to reach the starting point.
Snow-free season is good, but snow-covered season is great. The slopes of the vast snowfall of the sunny day of May are hot. The new mountain, which is bordered by the remaining snow, is even more rough. You can go down and slide freely on a large snow surface by drawing a spur. It is a fun unique to skiing. However, you have to be careful enough to take the course after Ohama hut. If you make a mistake in one of the ridges, you will go down in the wrong direction. Check the course you have climbed and then slide down.
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