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)
This is one of our locally organized and locally guided tours, where pricing is based on a flat guiding fee of ¥35,000 per day. All other expenses during the course of the tour are to be paid by the customers as they are incurred. Contact us for a detailed estimate of those expenses before booking.
PICK-UP & DROP-OFF
Complimentary pick-up and drop-off can be provided from/to your place of lodging in the Kofu area, or from Kofu (JR Chuo Main Line), whichever is most convenient for you.
There is no minimum number of participants for this tour
Group size will be limited to a maximum of 4 persons.
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.
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.
BOOKING & PAYMENT
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 reach out to you through the contact information you provided to confirm or customize your itinerary and to follow up with any further questions or instructions. In general, payments are accepted in cash on the day of the tour.
First Sunrise hike
Start the New Year in Epic Style
December 31st, 2021 - January 1st, 2022
¥70,000 guiding fee
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!