Fujinofuji Snowshoe Hike (Sapporo)

藤野富士

Posted on Nov 6, 2020
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Posted on Nov 6, 2020

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Reading time: 2 min

3km

Distance

3hrs

Time

232m

Ascent

651m

Highest point

4/10

Difficulty

Best season icon (Hokkaido Wilds)
Nov-March

Best season

The first snows of winter transform Sapporo's forested suburbs into ideal terrain for snowshoe hiking. Fujinofuji (藤野富士, 651m) is one of a number of small hills in the south of the city that provide a short day out for those needing an early or quick fix of winter action. Round the back of the hill towards the south it feels surprisingly wild under winter conditions with views on a clear day all the way to the mountains around Lake Shikotsu.

We visited this route on Dec 9, 2018

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

Fujinofuji is located in Sapporo City in the southern suburb of Fujino (藤野) that straddles Route 230 as it turns west towards Jozankei (定山渓).

General notes

This route guide is for a winter ascent, but in fact this hike can be done all year round as there is a signed summer trail. This route follows the trail which is still relatively easy to make out even under the snow, but in good snow conditions you can take a more direct line up and down the hill. Early in the winter the snow may not be deep enough to require snowshoes. The trailhead is at a large cemetery, and although it has been virtually deserted on our visits please act respectfully. It usually opens at 6.30am and closes at 4.00pm. If the management office with its friendly staff is open there is a log book in which you can enter your details before climbing.

 

Route Timing
Up | 2hrs
Down | 1hrs
Route

The route follows the summer trail, so though it is covered in snow there are occasional signs and marker tape on trees.  After entering the imposing cemetery go past the management office straight up the hill and make your way to the highest part of the grounds at about 380m elevation, here. The trail starts beyond the perimeter fence in the top corner though it is possible to enter the trees at other points in this area. Either way, after a few hundred meters you should reach a cleared track and head left on a fairly level trail that contours around the mountain. There are occasional signs indicating a hiking trail and after twenty minutes to half an hour the trail branches off up the hillside to the right more steeply. Climb up a final steep pitch to reach an open shoulder at 610m elevation in 45 minutes. In heavy snow conditions this section can be laborious and there may be a small cornice. From here it is a few hundred metres more along the ridge to the summit clearing and marker. Unfortunately there are no views here due to the trees. Return the same way or if confident about your navigation skills take a direct line back down the steep and thickly forested northern slopes of the hill to the cemetery.

Transport

Public transport:

From Sapporo Station or Makomanai subway station (真駒内駅) take a Jotetsu Bus (じょうてつバス) heading for Jozankei 定山渓 or Toyotaki 豊滝 and get off at the Fujino 3-jo 2-chome (藤野3条2丁目) bus stop, here. From here it’s a 3.7 km walk to the Fujino Seizanen (藤野聖山園) cemetery so a taxi is probably advisable. Arrange a taxi for the return or be prepared to walk back down the road for a few km.

By car: 

From Route 230 turn left (south) in Fujino towards the Fujino Seizanen cemetery (藤野聖山園, location). Park next to the management office (管理事務所). The Japanese guidebook mentions that their permission is necessary. It has always been very quiet on our visits.

Hut(s)

None

Physical maps
GSI Topo Map: Ishiyama (石山) – map no. NK-54-14-11-3

NOTE: The GSI 1/25000 topo map(s) above can be purchased for 350yen each from Kinokuniya bookstore next to Sapporo Station or online (in Japanese).

route safety

Although this is a simple winter hike close to the city, it will require better equipment and navigational skills than a summer ramble, so make sure you have plenty of warm layers, food and a hot drink, and allow plenty of time. In full winter conditions snowshoes will be necessary.

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Fujinofuji

Onsen nearby

If you have your own transport it is not too far to return to Route 230 and then head out of town for 10km or so to Koganeyu Onsen (小金湯温泉, location, 800yen).

Extra Resources

See the Hokkaido Snow Hiking Guidebook (in Japanese), p. 108-111.

Guide Options

If you’d like to hike this route and/or explore other areas of central Hokkaido with a local certified guide, then contact Jun Ishiguro. He’s a JMGA (Japan Mountain Guides Association) mountain guide on the board of directors of the Hokkaido Mountain Guides Association (HMGA). As a senior figure in the Hokkaido guiding scene, and with extensive experience, he can tailor trips to your needs. See a full list of English-speaking Hokkaido Mountain Guides Association (HMGA) guides on the HMGA website here

Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

When the first proper snows arrive, usually from late November, but conditions are still not good enough for skiing, then the low hills around Sapporo’s suburbs can provide a way to scratch the itch. Fujinofuji is a short but satisfying day out on snowshoes that Jeff and I have done a few times, twice from the cemetery as described here and once on a longer hike in from the south. We’ve never met anybody else up there. The summit marker, on the other hand, seems to migrate up and down its tree every time we go. On our last visit there was not enough of a base to make snowshoes worthwhile so we floundered up without them. 

 On another occasion it was snowing heavily and although there were no views up top to reward our efforts, when we arrived back at the trailhead in the gloomy light the hushed cemetery blanketed in snow was hugely atmospheric.

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Fujinofuji Snowshoe Hike (Sapporo) Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

D

25

Time ascending

D

0

Technicality

Altitude

D

0

Hazards

D

Navigation

D

Totals

25/100

GRADES range from A (very difficult) to D (easy). Hazards include exposure to avalanche and fall risk. More details here. Rating rubric adapted from Hokkaido Yukiyama Guidebook 北海道雪山ガイド.