Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park ~Beautiful valley with foliage~
Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park is home to natural forests of Western hemlock and Veitch's silver fir trees and is the site of many old stratum mountains, including Mt. Kumotori and Mt. Mitake. Located near Tokyo, this park is the source of the headwaters for the Arakawa, Chikuma, and Tama rivers. Natural forests and gorges serve as excellent outdoor recreational settings. Mt. Mitake and Mt. Mitsumine are ancient places of mountain worship.
<Where to see>
Extending from Mt. Kinpu and Mt. Kobushigatake all the way to Mt. Kumotori, the Okuchichibu Mountains constitutes the very heart of Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park and encompasses a diverse range of appearances. Climb and traverse each individual mountain to enjoy a variety of experiences in accordance with your strength and skills.
Situated on the prefectural border between Yamanashi and Nagano, Mt. Kinpu is the leading peak of the Okuchichibu Mountains. Covered by an expansive colony of dwarf stone pines, the mountain evokes a distinctive mood that contrasts sharply with other conifer-enveloped peaks belonging to the Okuchichibu Mountains.
If you move away from Mt. Kinpu and proceed eastwards with a sideways glance at Mt. Kita-Okusenjo-dake (2,601 meters above sea level), the highest peak belonging to this National Park, you will arrive next at Mt. Kobushigatake, a towering peak covered in dense old-growth trees. Mt. Kobushigatake is the site of the headwaters of the Chikuma (Shinano) River and Fuefuki (Fuji) River. The characters comprising the name of this peak are taken from the three historical provinces over which it straddles: Kai, Musashi, and Shinano.
If you shift your gaze even further east past the profoundly historical Karisaka Pass, the form of Mt. Kasatori, site of the headwaters of the Tama River, will come into view. Negotiate the relatively short mountaineering course found here to encounter the very first drop of the Tama River. The excellent view commanded by this location draws many mountain climbers to this location.
After traversing the Chichibu area, you will finally reach Mt. Kumotori, the highest peak in Tokyo. Its expanded fire belt and primeval forest offer a completely different type of landscape to visitors. Easily accessible to residents living in the urban core of Tokyo, this mountain is exceptionally popular.
The main highlights of this park found within Saitama consist of the ruins of the Tochimoto Checkpoint and the Nakatsu Canyon.
Tochimoto lay at the junction of Chichibu Road, which would have been taken to get past Karisaka Pass and head towards Koshu Province, and Shinshu Road, which would have been taken to get past Jumonji Pass and head in the direction of Shinshu Province. Despite being presently located in a quiet mountain community, the ruins of the Tochimoto Checkpoint recall a time when traffic through these parts was much greater. Shinshu Road and Chichibu Road can still be negotiated by mountain climbers who might be interested in taking on the challenge of experiencing a bit of history.
Extending for approximately 10 kilometers, the Nakatsu Canyon is a canyon that was carved out by the Nakatsu River, a tributary of the Arakawa River. While the canyon is beautifully adorned by azaleas in spring and green leaves in summer, it is most gorgeous in the fall (November) when crimson and yellow foliage is reflected in the surface of the water to the delight of the many tourists who flock to this location.
The main highlights of this park found within Tokyo consist of Mt. Mitake and Mt. Mito. Mt. Mitake is situated at the eastern gateway to Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park. These days, you can ascend this peak with ease by cable car. In days of old, it was a sacred mountain used by pilgrims who came to worship. It is a mountain blessed with history, clear streams, and beautiful flowering plants. Bring your family and enjoy yourself at a leisurely pace.
Mt. Mito is the habitat of a significant beech forest, which is a rare sight to behold in Metropolitan Tokyo. The entire surrounding area has been maintained as a forest for the residents of Tokyo, who are invited to engage in various activities ranging from hiking to mountain climbing as well as gain first-hand experience in woodworking and making charcoal.
The main highlights of this park found within Yamanashi consist of Daibosatsu Pass, the Mitake-Shosenkyo Gorge, and the Nishizawa Ravine.
Daibosatsu Pass is a pass made famous in Kaizan Nakazato's unfinished novel Daibosatsutoge. The mountain ridge at this spot is home to fields of willow herb and other grassland vegetation and commands a spectacular panoramic view. As a motorway extends all the way to Kamihikawa Pass, Daibosatsu Pass can be climbed with relative ease and is popular among hikers.
The Mitake-Shosenkyo Gorge is famous as one of Japan's most picturesque ravines. The verdant pines of summer and the vivid contrast of the crimson and yellow foliage of autumn against the bare white rocks in the area entice huge throngs of visitors to this location. Horse-drawn sightseeing carriages are also in operation.
The Nishizawa Ravine is a dynamic ravine created by the actions of a clear stream flowing through a primeval forest. Many hikers negotiate a hiking trail from which they can marvel at Uodome-no-Taki, Ryujin-no-Taki, the tiered Nanatsugama-Godan-no-Taki, and other waterfalls as well as take particular delight in admiring rhododendron flowers (in May) and the autumnal foliage (in October).
The main highlights of this park found within Nagano consist of a trail running through an area where the headwaters of the Chikuma River can be found.
Visitors can explore the headwaters of the Chikuma River and take a popular mountaineering course from Mokiba to Mt. Kobushigatake. As Mokiba is also the starting point for climbs in the direction of Jumonji Pass, where exceptional rhododendron flowers bloom in the fields, it is an especially busy site in June.
Includes one of one hundred mountains in Japan : Mt.Ryokami（1,723m）, Mt.Kumotori（2,017m）, Mt.Kobushi-dake（2,475m）, Mt.Kinbu（2,599m）, Mt.Mizugaki（2,230m）, Mt.Daibosatsu-dake（2,057m）
What is one hundred mountains in Japan? → http://beauty-of-japan.com/article/japan-one-hundred-best-mountains/
- Oku-chichibu mountain and surround across Saitama, Tokyo, Yamanashi, Nagano