The hiking course of Sengen ridge (Sengen-one, 浅間尾根) offers beautiful mountain views and Hosawa waterfall. You can access to this trailhead for about 1 hours and a half from Shinjuku station. This trail was an important road from old times, called Koshu way (甲州道), which connects both countries of Bushu (武州) and Koshu (甲州), in the Edo period was a track for an important life for transporting charcoal. Let’s relax and enjoy hike while thinking of old time people in the clear air which hard to believe you’re still in Tokyo.
Area: Chichibu-Tama National Park, Hinohara village, Tokyo
Access: Musashi-Itsukaichi Station (武蔵五日市駅) on JR Itsukaichi Line, get off at Hosawa Waterfall Entrance (払沢の滝入口). For more information, click here
Start: Hosawa Waterfall Entrance Bus Stop (払沢の滝入口バス停)
Goal: Henbori Bus Stop (人里バス停)
Difficulty of this trail: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Trail appearance rate: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Total distance: 8 km
Total difference in elevation: 661 m
Walking time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Point of interest: Hosawa Waterfall (particularly in winter), wildflowers (spring to autumn), mountain views, japanese macaque (winter), an Edo-period track for transporting charcoal.
Access to Hosawa Waterfall Entrance (Hosawa-no-taki-Iriguchi, 払沢の滝入口)
Please refer to the following for detailed access method.
A Map of Sengen Ridge Hiking Route (include Hosawa Waterfall)
The source of above the three maps are “Digital Japan Web System” of The Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. The maps were edited a author of this blog.
In Japanese: これらの3枚の地図は国土地理院の電子国土Webシステムから配信されたものをこのブログの著者が加工したものである。
From Hosawa Waterfall Entrance Bus Stop (払沢の滝入口バス停) to Sengen Peak (Sengen-rei, 浅間嶺)
A sign above the road next to left side of the Tofu shop (檜原とうふ ちとせ屋) reads “Hosawa Waterfall” (Howasa no taki, 払沢の滝). Following this sign, go to the narrow road a little bit further on. To get to the waterfall, veer left at a fork a few minutes later onto a dirt path also marked for Hosawa waterfall, though with a simplified first character (払沢の滝). The waterfall is 5-10 minutes along this high rocky path, which crosses several small bridges. In winter, parts of the 60-meter fall and most of the pool at the bottom freeze over, and the icicles hanging off the face make for a splendid sight.
After visitting the waterfall, return to the previous junction, turn hard left in the direction of Sengen Ridge (Sengen-one, 浅間尾根). This path merges with a dirt road, which you follow uphill to the large bitumen road and bear left. The trail leaves and rejoins this road several times over the next kilometer or so, and passes many old wooden houses.
A few minutes further on, at the sign for “Zizaka Pass, Sengen Peak” (時坂峠 浅間嶺), take the steps up to the left. Rejoin the road 10 minutes later, again heading uphill to the left. The path (similarly signposted) resumes sharply to the left after about 10 more minutes. From here it zigzags up the hill, crossing the road (at a similar sign) after 5 minutes.
The Path soon bend left (near a tiny shrine), and begins to trace the line of Sengen Ridge, merging with the dirt road that enters from the left after 5-10 minutes.
Walking for 7 minutes or so will bring you to a magnificent old farmhouse, rustic sheds, and a water supply system consisting of lengths of bamboo split in half to form open pipes, which are joined together and connected to a nearby stream. This was a soba noodle shop until 2018, but unfortunately closed down now.
Ascend steeply for 30-40 minutes, first next to small stream and past rock pools, and latter through a forest with broad-leaved magnolia trees (and where orange fungi used in a herbal cancer treatment can be fond). There are also many wildflowers at various times of the year, such as summer yamayuri (gold-banded lily).
After passing more open area with fine views of such nearby peaks as Mt.Gozen, you come to the junction marked “Observation Deck and Sengen peak” (展望台 浅間嶺) pointing to the left.
Turning left as follow this sign, ascend moderate slope for a while.
After walking for 10-15 minutes, you arrive at the highest point (904 meters above sea level) on Sengen Ridge. From there, you can enjoy superb views including Mt.Fuji and mountains of Okutama area.
From there, you can enjoy superb views including Mt.Fuji and mountains of Okutama area. Suitable area for lunch is Asama Ridge Resting-Place descending right side from here for approximately 3-5 minutes.
There are picnic area with tables and chairs, a shelter, a fire place, and toilets.
The map board provides some history of the area, as follows:
KANTŌ COMMUNITY ROADS
The 8 kilometer route from Kami-Kawanori to Honjuku leads up in the direction of Sengen Ridge and traverses Jizaka Pass. Passing through the middle the Hinohara-mura area and tracing the comparatively moderate lie of the land, Sengen-one Road, also called Naka-Kōshū Road, has form olden times been an important traffic thoroughfare. During the Edo priod, it was an important route for hauling charcoal by horse and for the transport of daily necessities. Besides the village folk, people from Ogouchi and Saihara also used the trail.
Another interesting feature of this area is the presence of the Japanese macaque, which descend in winter from the cold upper reaches of the surrounding mountains to these slopes. They are quite shy and more likely to be sighted on the southern side of the ridge.
From Sengen Peak (浅間嶺) to Hembori Bus Stop (人里バス停)
There is a descend slope on the left side of the map board. After few meters on this slope there are the signposted junction. Turn left as fallow marked “Kazehari-touge and Hembori Bus Stop” (風張峠・人里バス停).
After 5 more minutes you go straight through another T-junction. From here, simply follow the Hembori (人里) signs for about 25 minutes, keeping with an adjacent bamboo stand, to a concrete road near some tea plantations. You take this road down past a few houses to the main road. Hembori bus stop is immediately to your right.
The bus ride to Musashi-Isukaichi Station takes about 45 minutes, and the fare is 820 JPY. To return to Shinjuku Station, in any case follow in reverse the instructions provided in bellow article for this walk.