Mt Echizengatake is the highest peak of Ashitaka mountain range in Shizuoka prefecture. There is an easily accessible splendid view from the top! Mt Ashitaka is one of the mountains with great panoramic views to Mt Fuji. There are several hiking courses, but now we’ll take the one starting from the parking lot at Jurigi Kogen.
A hiking trail with scenic views
Mt Echizengatake’s summit is 1504 meters above sea level. The hiking trail which starts from Jurigi Kogen’s parking lot (at 880 meters above sea level; equipped with a toilet) takes about 2 hours to the top. The trail is well maintained and easy to climb even for beginners, so I highly recommend it. Moreover, the views along the trail are splendid! The path that leads from the parking lot to “Umanose” is relatively easy to walk and with wide open views. After that you enter a beach tree forest and the trail becomes steeper.
Necessary time for hiking: Jurigi Kogen’s parking lot – 15 minutes ascending/10 minutes descending – the observatory The observatory – 25 minutes ascending/20 minutes descendind – Umanose Umanose – 80 minuted ascending/40 minutes descending – Echizengatake’s summit Echizengatake’s summit – 20 minutes descending/25 minutes ascending – Fujimidai observatory The time here is only for reference purpose. Actual time depends on the individual climbing style.
The giant Mt Fuji and its Hoei volcanic vent!
There are two places to see Mt Fuji from along the trail. The first one is the observatory near the parking lot, while the second one is at Umanose. Both can be reached without much climbing.
The first observatory is 960 meters above sea level and offers a splendid view to Mt Fuji and its small Hoei volcanic vent! If you come here early in the morning you can see the natural phenomenon “red Fuji”. The observatory is only 15 minutes away from the parking lot, so you can come by without hiking and casually enjoy the view of Mt Fuji.
“Umanose” is 1100 meters above sea level and has tables and benches installed for resting visitors. From here you can see not only Mt Fuji, but also the majestic Southern Alps whose mountain range will spread wide like a fan in front of you. When you climb up from the parking lot to Umanose, Mt Fuji will be behind your back, but on your way back it will be right in front of you.
The summit where you can see the panorama of Mt Fuji and Suruga Bay!
The panoramic view from the top is gorgeous and includes Izu Peninsula and Suruga Bay! You can also see the Southern Alps and Mt Fuji too. In winter Mt Fuji is visible behind the silver frosted trees in what is a typically seasonal landscape. This place is wide and great for the views it provides – you can enjoy both the mountains and the sea!
Mt Fuji seen from Fujimidai observatory
The view from the top is surely fantastic, but if you descend for about 20 minutes you will reach Fujimidai observatory which offers even greater panoramic views to Mt Fuji. Here you can see a picture similar to the one that the famous photographer Okada Koyo took and was later used on the five thousand yen bill released in 1938. This is one of the best spots to see Mt Fuji from the southern side! Be careful with the trail, because the ridge becomes narrow at some points and you should avoid piles of snow or icy paths.
The natural landscape is beautiful in all four seasons
Mt Echizengatake is charming not only with its observatories, but also with its rich nature. The Ashitaka azalea species is typical for this mountain range and blossoms with beautiful flowers around mid-May to early June every year. Plenty of people climb up the hiking trails to discover the pretty flowers. There are also beach tree forests which are lush green in summer and fiery in the autumn. In winter the barren trees sometimes get covered in frost to produce spectacular natural scenery.
Winter hiking necessitates some anti-skid equipment like crampons. Check the live camera from the link in the memo below to see if the roads are covered with snow. There are other hiking trails besides the one I introduced. Mt Echizengatake can be explored in all four seasons. Moreover, it is easy to climb to the top. Don’t forget your provisions and equipment, and enjoy a pleasant hike!
Access with public transport: From JR Gotemba Station take a bus to Jurigi bus stop. Access with a car: About 14 kilometers from Susono IC on Tomei Highway. About 19 kilometers from Gotemba IC on Tomei Highway. About 16 kilometers from Shin-Fuji IC on Shin-Tomei Highway.
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