Ginreiso Mountain Hut Spring Overnight Hike

Posted on Jun 12, 2016
109 0

Posted on Jun 12, 2016
109 0
Reading time: 4 min
12.5km

Distance

4.5 hours

Time

750m

Ascent

907m

Highest point

3.5/10

Difficulty

For an overnight hike involving a mountain hut, near Sapporo, Mt. Haruka and the Ginreiso Hut is probably the most accessible around. It'll require some booking ahead with the management of the hut, but it is well worth the effort. From the summit of Mt. Haruka, you'll get some good views over the Ishikari Bay and northern end of Sapporo City.

Last updated Oct 29, 2018

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

The trailhead to the Mt. Haruka trail is about 2km from JR Zenibako train station. The mountain itself sits on the ridge between the Japan Sea coast and Lake Jozankei in the west.

General notes

The hike to Mt. Haruka is a relatively easy day-hike, but makes for an excellent overnight trip due to the amazing Ginreiso Hut (hut details here). The hut is situated at around 750m, just before the final climb up to the summit of Mt. Haruka. This allows for a very leisurely start on Day 1, and an early start up to Mt. Haruka the next day (or for an evening sunset on Day 1).

Hut

Mt. Haruka Ginreiso Hut (full details here)

Ginreiso Hut on the Mt. Haruka hiking/ski touring route, ust below Mt. Haruka, accessed either via Zenibako or Jozankei. The present-day Ginreiso Hut was built in 1960, and was transferred to Tokai University’s ownership in 1974 as a student and staff recreational facility. It is one of only three huts in Hokkaido to have a hutkeeper present year-round (Mt. Tarumae Hut and Mt. Muroran’s Shiratori Hut being the others).

Read more about the Mt. Haruka Ginreiso Hut here.

Route markers

There are sporadic route markers and signs (in Japanese), but the route is well defined. Just be sure to go right at the t-junction at the top of the ridge (at around 685m) to take you to the hut and on to the summit. Going left will lead you down to the 4WD track towards Lake Jozankei.

Route Timing

Up | 3hrs
Down | 1.5hrs

About 3 hours from trailhead to summit. The hut is a leisurely 2.5hrs from the trailhead. From the summit, it should only take about 1.5 to 2 hours at a very lesurely pace back to the trailhead.

Transport

Public transport:

By train and taxi: Arguably the most straight forward option for public transport is to get a local train to JR Zenibako Station (on the same JR line as Sapporo Station), and catch a taxi from there. It’s only about 2.8km from the station to the trailhead (route map here), so the taxi is cheap. Try telling the taxi driver that you want to go to the haruka-yama tozan-guchi(春香山登山口 – Mt. Haruka trailhead). It will be downhill on the return trip, so can be easily walked on the way down.

By train and bus: Catch a train to JR Zenibako train station, and catch the Zenibako/Katsuraoka-sen (銭函・桂岡線) bus from the JR Zenibako train station bus stop heading towards the Zenibako Jo-sui-jo bus stop (銭函浄水場). From the Zenibako Josui-jo bus stop it is a 1.3km walk to the trailhead. The timetable for this bus can be seen here: Timetable info. Return bus timetable here.

By car: 

There is room for about 10 cars in two parking spots near the trailhead.

Physical maps

Official Topo Map: Zenibako (銭函) – map no. NK-54-14-14-1
Official Topo Map 2: Hariusu (張碓) – map no. NK-54-14-14-3

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

Snow and route safety

Police notification: Fill your police notification out online using Compass – instructions here

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Haruka

Onsen nearby

Consider driving 20 minutes towards Otaru City, to the Asari Onsen area. Hotel Musashitei and Hotel Classe both have very nice onsen open to day visitors.

Extra Resources
No extra English resources that we know of. If you know of any, please let us know in the comments.

Photo Gallery

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Route Trip Notes

Jun 12, 2016

109 0

What better way to celebrate a birthday than to hike a short 2.5 hours to a mountain hut and stay overnight. The perfect place for that in the Sapporo area has to be Ginreiso mountain hut at the foot of Mt. Haruka. Even in spring, with no snow around, this is a beautiful easy hike.

My birthday was on the Sunday, so I invited a few friends to hike up to the Ginreiso Hut at the foot of Mt. Haruka, just outside of Sapporo, here in Hokkaido, Japan. The plan was to schlep up fresh veges and some meat, some drinks and dessert, and make a bit of a birthday party of it all. We’d then hike down the next day.

We started off at the start of the summer hiking trail (location) in beautiful weather, that would persist the entire time we were on the trail.

Not long after starting, we came across the most challenging part of the trail…a short washed-out part of the trail. Haidee and I had already started lowering ourselves down by the rope before the others found a new trail a little ways back along the track.

While under the shelter of the trees, the trail was cool and refreshing.

Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)

Although at times, the trail runs along an exposed forestry road, which can be hot in direct sunlight. Luckily this only continues for a very short distance.

Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)

On this trip, we opted to head straight to the summit of Mt. Haruka, just behind the hut. The summit is shrouded in trees, but there is one aspect that allows good views over the Ishikari Bay area, and northern Sapporo.

Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)

Ginreiso Hut itself is a three-story log house. There is enough room to sleep 30 people, although I imagine that would be a squeeze in the second-story cooking/kitchen area.

Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)

Mt. Haruka and Ginreiso Hut Hiking (Hokkaido, Japan)

Rick had opted to bike up, coming from the opposite side of the valley, via Jozankei. He was following the Fuchs Loop, a circular cycle route that takes forestry roads on the way up, and takes the hiking trail on the way down (see the bikepacking route here).

Once down from the summit, we got into dinner mode. On the menu was shabushabu, a Japanese hot-pot style communal dinner. The heavy, fresh ingredients were worth their weight!

Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)

We retired to bed at around 9:30pm, and most of us slept fairly well in the 3rd story sleeping quarters.

We were up at around 5:30am to 6:00am, and settled down to a slow breakfast of coffee, porridge, cake, and more coffee. We finally got out of the hut around 9am for the meander back down to the car.

Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)

Rick powered on ahead, the bear bells attached to his bike jingling like Santa’s sleigh. For more information about biking this route, check out my blog post here: The Fuchs Loop.

Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)
Harukayama and Ginreiso Hut (Hokkaido, Japan)

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Done this route up Mt. Haruka? Thinking of doing it? Please post any feedback or queries here. Thanks!

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