Fushimi-dake

伏美岳

Posted on Jan 19, 2021
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Posted on Jan 19, 2021

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Reading time: 4 min

20km

Distance

8hrs

Time

1370m

Ascent

1792m

Highest point

7/10

Difficulty

Best season icon (Hokkaido Wilds)
June-Oct

Best season

Fushimi-dake 伏美岳 (1792m) lies at the end of an eastern spur of the central Hidaka Range, overlooking the broad agricultural basin of the Tokachi Plain. Formerly easy to access, the 2016 typhoons destroyed the approach road and it now requires a longer walk in to the trailhead and its nearby spartan but comfortable hut. The steep climb is rewarded on a fine day by views onwards along the ridge to the highest point of the wild Hidaka mountains at Poroshiri-dake 幌尻岳 (2053m).

We visited this route on Aug 09, 2012

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

Fushimi-dake lies on an eastern spur of the central Hidaka Range and is accessed from Memuro Town 芽室町 in the Tokachi Region 十勝地方 southwest of Obihiro City 帯広市. The hiking trail officially starts at the Fushimi-goya Hut (location), but as of 2020 the 6.5km of forestry road to the hut is still closed to vehicular traffic due to multiple washouts, so hikers have to start from the Tomuraushi-rindo forestry road gate, here.

General notes

Another victim of the typhoons of recent years, the forest road to the hut and former trailhead is closed off and the return trip to the summit is now over 20km and involves a height gain of 1400m, with some rough washed out sections and stream crossings to negotiate. Staying overnight at the isolated and basic Fushimi-koya 伏美小屋 hut would allow more time and be a good option for a Hokkaido backcountry experience.

There are no facilities at the start of the hike, the nearest shops are back in the small farming settlement of Memuro or up along Route 38 near Obihiro around 30km away. There is a toilet and fresh water supply by the hut but be sure to boil or filter all water obtained here.

Route Timing
Up | 4.5hrs
Down | 3.5hrs
Route

The route is signed and clear underfoot though overgrown in a few places as it sees less traffic these days. From the gate across the forest road (383m elevation) it’s a 7km hike up the track with some rough washouts to negotiate before you reach the small Fushimi-koya hut (695m) in about an hour and a half. The former trailhead (729m) is about 5 mins further on. From here the proper climbing trail begins, briefly beside a small stream then steeply up the hillside for an elevation gain of over 1000m through mature forest and sasa dwarf bamboo. The occasional sign marks some of the way stages 合目. At the ninth stage 9合目 the forest thins out to haimatsu dwarf pines up to the open summit (1792m though the sign says 1791). Allow around three hours from the former trailhead. Return the same way.

Transport

Public transport:

No public transport access.

By car: 

Take the local Route 55 that loops through the farming settlements of Memuro Town 芽室町. From the most westerly section of the road where it turns back from the mountains at a 90 degree angle, locate a minor road that runs up alongside the Biseigawa 美生川 river for about 8km up to the Bisei Dam 美生ダム. Before the dam a forest road, the Tomuraushi rindo トムラウシ林道 runs off to the left but is closed by a gate with a sign for the Fushimi-dake trailhead 伏美岳登山口 and space for a few cars to park.

Hut(s)

Fushimi Emergency Hut (full details here)

Fushimi Emergency Hut is a basic but very solidly built steel-beam A-frame cabin, located on the northeastern side of the Hidaka Ranges. It is about 500m below the Fushimi-dake summer hiking trail trailhead, and has a wood stove. Officially, the hut is designated as an emergency hut, so non-essential stays should be kept to a minimum. The hut would accommodate 10 comfortably. The forestry road that leads to the hut is, as of March 2019, currently closed to all traffic due to washouts.

Physical maps

1:50000 Yama to Kogen Chizu 3: Daisetsuzan, Tokachi-dake and Poroshiri-dake 山と高原地図3: 大雪山・十勝岳・幌尻岳 (Shobunsha 昭文社). Japanese hiking map with routes and course times. Periodically updated.

GSI Topo Map: Oshikiyama (妙敷山) – map no. NK-54-8-4-3

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

This is a long and remote route to a high exposed summit with real risks of hypothermia in bad weather. Carry appropriate gear and enough food and water. Take the usual precautions against bears and also watch out for ticks in early and mid-summer. If the river is high after heavy rain the washouts in the forest road may be dangerous to negotiate and the stream impossible to cross safely. Also note that officially the washed out forestry road is off limits to vehicular traffic, so hikers walk the remnants of the road at their own risk.

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Fushimi-dake

Onsen nearby

There are no nearby onsen, the nearest spa facilities being back in Memuro itself. The closest is the pokey but soothing baths at the Shin-Arashiyama Sanso Lodge めむろ新嵐山山荘 (location, 270yen). There’s an attached restaurant, and a new campground on the premises.

Extra Resources

In Japanese: Hokkaido Natsuyama Gaido 4, 北海道夏山ガイド4 (Hokkaido Shimbunsha, 2020).

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

After a comfortable night at the Rakko-dake Sanso hut on the other side of the mountains, Leon, Matt and I took the main road over the range and turned off northwards up to the trailhead. This was before the typhoon damage to the access road and we were able to drive all the way to the Fushimi-koya hut in good time. We had a quick look and dumped our gear as we were intending the stay the night. Leon decided to sit out the climb this time (after all, he had already climbed every mountain in Hokkaido, many of them multiple times, including a month-long summer traverse of the whole Hidaka Range). While he busied himself around the hut, Matt and I set off from the nearby trailhead.

The sun was out at the trailhead, but as we ground our way up through the forest we entered thick mist. The cloud was down and we wondered if we would even get to see anything from the top, but at least it kept us cool on the long climb. At the ninth stage, however, the clouds thinned and we glimpsed clear sky before emerging into sunshine on the open summit.

It was a spectacular view. At our feet the Tokachi Plain was blanketed in a thick ocean of clouds, punctuated here and there by sharp forested peaks rising like islands. To the west the clearing cloud gave us glimpses along the ridge and over to the bulk of Poroshiri-dake, mist shearing away from its steep-sided flanks. As we sat and enjoyed our lunch it cleared up even more over the mountains while below us the sea of clouds stretched unbroken as far as we could see.

EDITOR’S NOTE: On a ski tour up Fushimi-dake we were also graced with this sea of clouds phenomenon, with white peaks jutting out (Rob).

After taking in our fill of the view we turned and headed back down the trail, soon to be swallowed up again in the thick mist. Back at the hut we unpacked our gear and cooked up an evening feast. It’s only a small hut but we had the place to ourselves and enjoyed a relaxing evening before turning in for the night.

Postscript: This had been another good day in the Hokkaido hills, but on a more sober note it was probably on this day that I picked up a tick that burrowed unnoticed deep into my back. It was not until we reached an onsen a day later that Matt pointed it out to me. An unsuccessful attempt to remove it resulted in breaking off its body and leaving the head under my skin. I’d had ticks before from backpacking trips in Scotland and was well aware of Lyme Disease so over the coming week as we continued the trip it preyed on my mind a bit. Finally back in Sapporo over a week later I felt fine but had developed a circular red rash a few inches across near my armpit. Although it was not the classic bulls-eye rash associated with Lyme Disease, and not even around the actual bite, I took myself off to the Dermatology Department at Hokkaido University Hospital. There a doctor removed the rest of the tick under a local anesthetic, stitched me up, and prescribed me a two-week course of strong antibiotics. I was glad of this medication because that very evening I came down with a high fever, vomiting and severe body aches. Thankfully these symptoms cleared up quickly as the antibiotics kicked in and, touch wood, I’ve experienced no ill effects since then. I now always carry a tick removal tool in the first aid kit that lives in my rucksack. A couple of years later I picked up another tick (again, not discovered until at home the day after a trip) and this time I removed it carefully, stuck it on some sellotape, and trotted off with it to Hokudai Hospital for some more antibiotics. I had no symptoms but wasn’t prepared to risk it after the previous experience.

I now have a healthy paranoia about ticks; Lyme Disease is a very nasty debilitating condition that can seriously mess up your life, so when out in the hills, particularly in early summer, cover up and always carefully check yourself and your companions for the little buggers, especially if you’ve been bushwhacking. And if you’re unlucky enough to get one that burrows in deeply before eventually being discovered, go and get it properly removed at a hospital!

Some stock photos of ticks

Dept. of Parasitology, Asahikawa Med. Uni.

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Fushimi-dake Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

A

40

Time ascending

B

6

Technicality

Altitude

A

10

Hazards

D

Navigation

D

Totals

56/100

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.