The second stage of my Japan Alps Traverse covered the Chuo Alps (中アルプス) – aka the Central Alps. Our trek through the Chuo Alps Lasted only about 24 hours as this is the shortest of the three ranges comprising the Japanese Alps. We entered the Chuo Alps via the Fukushima A Course (福島Aコース) in the north and exited via the trail heading east from the summit of Utsugidake (空木岳) past Komahohuytte.
Luckily, the weather was fairly good for our time in the Chuo Alps as we only had the one day of hiking to see them. In the middle of the Chuo Alps, the Kisokomagatake Ropeway (駒ケ岳ロープウェー) brings hikers up the eastern slopes and the area between Kisokomagatake (駒ケ岳) and Hokendake (宝剣岳) can become extremely crowded (there are a total of five mountain huts in the span of something like 1.25 mi / 2 km. South of Hokendake (宝剣岳) the trails are relatively free of people and it's not until reaching Kisotonosanso at Kisodonokoshi that you can really expect to see any more hikers.
If you only have a short time to hike in Japan, a traverse of the Chuo Alps would be an excellent choice. There are trails heading further south through the Chuo Alps that we did not explore on our traverse, but that I would love to investigate in the future as we missed a few peaks by not heading down these (very unused) trails.
The photos in this post are in order of north to south and the peaks covered in this section are listed at the bottom of this post. If you're interested in the daily itinerary for this route, you can find it here.
Chuo Alps Peaks
- Marishitenyama (摩利支天山) – 9710 ft / 2959.5 m
- Akabayashiyama (赤林山) – 7145 ft / 2177.9 m
- Kisokomagatake* (駒ケ岳) – 9698 ft / 2956.1 m
- Nakadake (中岳) – 9596 ft / 2925 m
- Hokendake (宝剣岳) – 9616 ft / 2931 m
- Hinokiodake (檜尾岳) – 8950 ft / 2728 m
- Kumazawadake (熊沢岳) – 9114 ft / 2778 m
- Higashikawadake (東川岳) – 8763 ft / 2671 m
- Kisodonokoshi (木曽殿越) – 8038 ft / 2450 m
- Utsugidake* (空木岳) – 9396 ft / 2864 m
Peaks denoted with an asterisk (*) are part of Nihon Hyakumeizan (100 Famous Japanese Mountains).