Hiking the highest mountain in Nikko City and Tochigi Prefecture takes some planning and enough time to do it. It's that the peak is set back in the local range.
We highly recommend camping at the Yumoto Camping site to get an early start as the hiking loop is a total of 11.5 km. Also, we don't recommend returning the way that we did as the trail from Goshiki to Yumoto is way overgrown and dangerous for your footing as you will see in the following photographs.
It's a long hike and so we have a special offer for those that will climb it. You should plan to camp at both the camping area at the base AND camp at the mountain hut.
Plan to camp at the base and get an early start and by nightfall find your way to the mountain hut. Then the next morning, set off to explore the Shirane Mountain, Goshiki and Goshikinuma and Midagaike (mountain lakes). Be sure to catch the last bus from Yumoto Onsen (by 7pm) and take the bus all the way back to JR Nikko station or Tobu Nikko station.
We offer something like 2 nights at SPACE riverhouse, you do the camping for 1 or 2 nights and then come back for a night at SPACE riverhouse.
Above is an overview of the hike. Be sure to visit our main hiking page to download the .pdf of trail details.
Yumoto campground is a very basic camping area. There is also a BBQ area if you were to grill some food.
The main trailhead is several hundred meters north from the camping area.
It's a beautiful beginning as you are soon in the forest.
It doesn't take long, just a couple of hours, before you get a glimpse of Shirane's peak.
The lakes are beautiful.
The view back upon Lake Chuzeji are grand.
Be careful NOT to stay here for the night, this is ONLY an emergency point.
Built on the ridge line overlooking Lake Chuzenji, it can be easily found.
This is the actual hut for sleeping.
Goshiki Pond with Nantai's Peak in the background right.
The peak of Shirane is set deep in the range.
Shirane's peak can be seen from Lake Chuzenji on clear days. Nantai Mountain and Lake Chuzenji are outstanding from the peak of Shirane.
There is certainly enough space on the peak for everyone and for the adventurous whom want to peer straight down the cliff.
The north side of Shirane has another tucked away pond.
Midage Ike (pond) is pretty shallow, yet deep enough for a little dip.
The trail to Goshiki follows much of the ridge line.
The overnight hut is that little red roof building on the path seen on the left side of Shirane.
We really don't recommend the direct trail from Goshiki back to the Yumoto Onsen area. It is way overgrown and along a gully. So, you will lose your footing and not be able to see where the next step is.
The trail back is seriously overgrown and dangerous.
You can barely see anything in front of you while you are walking.
The gully is deep and sheer in many locations along the trail. NOT recommended.