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Nature of Mt.Chokai

Mt.Chokai ? One of Japan’s best treks

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Mt.Chokai, surrounded by peaceful fields.

Mt.Chokai, surrounded by peaceful fields.

Mt. Fuji of Tohoku

Mt.Chokai is a 2,236m high active volcano located on the border of Akita Prefecture and Yamagata Prefecture, facing the Sea of Japan. Its unique location means that one can get a panoramic view of the dramatic Sea of Japan from the 5th climbing station.

When covered in snow during the winter months, its symmetrical apex bears a stunning resemblance to Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan at 3,776m and the symbol of Japan. Not surprisingly, Mt.Chokai is also fondly referred to as “Akita Fuji” and “Shounai Fuji”, depending on which prefecture you are in.

Located in the Chokai Quasi National Park, the mountain is considered to be sacred by a branch of Shinto believers and is also a popular destination for hikers. Depending on the season, you will see wildflowers blooming across the terrain and cobalt alpine lakes, making this one of the best hikes in Japan.

The stunning view when set aflame with fall colors.

The contrast of the remaining snow and greenery when spring turns to early summer is stunning.

Hiking season starts from late April till early November, and a bus plying the Chokai Blue Liner will take you to the start of the trail, which has a visitor’s center and accommodation offering food and souvenirs. Expect meters of fresh snow to still remain on the mountain in late April.

From the 5th station, the climb to the top takes around 4.5 hours. At the 7th station, which is around 1,700m high, the Chokai Lake and surrounding flower fields make for a breathtaking trek.

The foot of the mountain also boasts a beautiful and robust waterfall with a width of 30m and gushing out 50,000 tons of water a day, called the Mototaki Fukuryusui. This is acclaimed as one of the Top 100 Beautiful Waters of current times.

The stunning natural beauty of Mt.Chokai and its surroundings have won it acclaim as one of the 100 best mountains in Japan and as one of the famous 100 geographical features of Japan.


4h 34min from Tokyo via Akita Staition (JR Akita Shinkansen Line) to Ugohonjo Station by JR Uetu Line.

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