The Southern Alps are by no means overlooked, but they also don't get as much credit (or crowds) as the Northern Alps do. One of the primary reasons for this is likely the high cost and difficulty in accessing them relative to their northerly neighbors. But there are many reasons to fall in love with and even prefer the Southern Alps as a hiking and trekking destination, including their ruggedness, quiet lush forests, abundant wildlife, persistent views of Mt. Fuji, and as it pertains to this tour - comparatively stable weather and safe snow hiking during the winter season. Add to that mountains huts that open on a limited basis in winter, and this becomes an excellent place to head for a memorable and unique New Year's Eve and Day.
The trek itself takes place over two days, but a required early start on day one necessitates an overnight at a local onsen (hot spring) lodge near the trailhead on the evening before we hit the trail. On the following morning we will make the short drive to the start and begin our hike in earnest. Day 1 is a serious endeavor, with a steady climb from around 1,300m all the way up to our evening's accommodation at 2,700m, just over 9km and between 6 and 8 hours away. We will spend the night in an atmospheric Japanese mountain hut with numerous other like-minded mountain lovers that have likewise made the climb in hopes of catching the first sunrise of 2021 with a towering Mt. Fuji in the background. Sharing these moments together will be a unique cultural experience but an atypical New Year's Eve as the day will draw to a close with a warm Japanese meal, a modest amount of sake and an early bedtime (well before the countdown) in anticipation of an early start on New Years morning.
Day 2 will see us up before the sun rises, as we'll leave the warmth and protection of the hut in total darkness and aim to summit the nearby peak with headlamps in order to watch the sunrise from the top. Make no mistake, it will be cold as we wait on the sun, and we will need to be equipped appropriately - but the city lights below and the orange glow above the stunning silhouette of Mt. Fuji will provide the perfect distraction before the sun makes its grand entrance. Depending on how everyone feels, we'll continue on beyond the first summit to a second nearby peak before doubling back to the hut, packing up our things, and retracing our day one route back to the car, and back to the world below the clouds. It is always fun to see the mountains in the rearview as you drive away, and marvel to yourself that you had been there just hours before. Day 2 adds another 450m or so of climbing before the long gradual descent, with the total length totaling just over 11km, and another 6 to 8 hours on the trail.
IMAGE GALLERY (New Years 2020)
PICK-UP & DROP-OFF WITHIN THE KOFU AREA
We can pick you up and drop you off at your place of lodging in the Kofu area, or from Kofu Station (JR Chuo Main Line), whichever is most convenient for you.
All ground transportation (whether by private car, taxi, train and/or bus) during the hours of the tour is included in the price.
Basic hiking insurance covering personal injury, liability and search and rescue is included in the price.
Two nights of lodging, specifically the night before the hike at a traditional onsen (hot spring lodge) as well as one night during the tour in a full-service mountain hut along the trail is included in the price. All bedding will also be provided, eliminating the need to carry a tent, sleeping bag or other bulky gear.
DINNER & BREAKFAST
Dinner will be provided on both evenings as well as breakfast on both mornings. These meals will be prepared by our onsen lodge prior to the hike and by the mountain hut during the tour. We can expect both to be delicious, traditional Japanese meals.
*Please let us know if you have any food allergies or other dietary restrictions before the commencement of the tour. If necessary, we will do our best to arrange foods that suit your dietary needs.
ONSEN (HOT SPRING)
Since we will be staying at a traditional onsen lodge on night one, the bathing fee is included in the price. If you would like, we can also drop by a nearby onsen after our hike to freshen up and reward our cold and tired bodies, for no additional fee.
We provide a comprehensive list of required/recommended gear and clothing below, but customers are responsible for packing and preparing those items on their own. We may be able to lend you some gear, depending on which item(s) you are in need of, so please inquire with us. In the event that you need to rent some or all of the necessary gear, you might consider using a service such as the one provided by Sora-no-shita ( https://www.soranoshita.net/en/ ), or other similar online companies.
*If you are planning on renting, please contact us ahead of time, and we can help you choose the proper items, and even take care of the pickup and drop-off for you.
LUNCHES, SNACKS & DRINKS
This is a long, demanding hike and you will need to carry plenty of snacks and drinks to fuel your body on the trail, however, these are out-of-pocket costs to be covered by each individual customer. We will be able to stop at convenience or grocery store between the station and our lodging on the evening before the hike so you can pick up the lunches / snacks you need for both days on the trail. We will have a small stove, gas and a cooking pot that you may use to boil water or prepare instant noodles, etc...
For this tour to operate at the listed price, we require a minimum of 2 persons.
Group size will be limited to a maximum of 4 persons.
If you are interested in booking as a private tour for one person, or a group larger than four please contact us for a price quote.
WHAT TO BRING
Please note that this tour is scheduled to take place on specific dates in winter, however winter hiking is inherently more risky than other seasons, and the consequences of an injury or other mid-trail issue are higher due to the colder temperatures. As such, it is necessary to exercise increased caution when scheduling a winter climb. Because of this, it may be necessary for our safety and yours to cancel or reschedule this tour (for dates just before or after New Years) on short notice due to incoming weather systems, unfavorable snow conditions, extreme temperatures and/or other factors that would could possibly become a danger. In such case, we will gladly provide full refunds of the entire tour amount, including the deposit if alternately proposed dates do not work with your schedule.
For your convenience and ours, bookings are made through our online booking platform by clicking on the 'BOOK' button below and following the steps presented: (1) Choose a start time/date (2) Fill out the required information (3) Enter a coupon code (if applicable) (4) Complete your booking by clicking on the 'Book It' button.
Upon confirmation of your booking, we will generate and send (an) online invoice(s) to you through PayPal, in accordance with the terms of our Deposit & Payment Policy for this tour type [Multi-Day Flex-Departure Tours]. For more detailed information, head to our 'BOOKING' page and view/download our full Booking Policy.
First Sunrise hike
Start the New Year in Epic Style
December 31st, 2020 - January 1st, 2021
¥59,000 per person
If you would like to contact us to ask questions, receive more information, or inquire about booking this trip, please either connect with us directly using the chat feature located on the bottom right of your screen, or submit an inquiry through the contact form below. We are looking forward to hearing from you!