Kamui-dake and Eboshi-dake Dayhike

神威岳/烏帽子岳 | Puneshiri/Cise-ne-sir

Posted on Nov 4, 2019
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Posted on Nov 4, 2019

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Reading time: 2 min

16km

Distance

7hrs

Time

978m

Ascent

1109m

Highest point

4/10

Difficulty

Best season icon (Hokkaido Wilds)
May-Nov

Best season

Kamui-dake (神威岳, 983m) is a stubby eroded volcanic plug whose distinctive shape can be seen from many parts of Sapporo. Easily accessible and close to the pleasant Koganeyu Onsen 小金湯温泉, it makes a good day walk for those based in the city. Like many of the lower hills in this area it is forested all the way to the top, though this makes it spectacular when the autumn colours are at their peak. The trail along the narrow ridge up to the higher peak of Eboshi-dake (烏帽子岳, 1109m) is rough and overgrown, adding a bit more challenge to the day.

We visited this route on Oct 15, 2017

Last updated Nov 6, 2019

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

These two hills lie a short distance southwest of Sapporo along Route 230 to Jozankei 定山渓. The hike starts just across a closed-to-traffic bridge off Route 230, but car parking is about 250m back towards Sapporo (here).

General notes

Kamuy is the Ainu word commonly translated as god or spirit in English, though these concepts are understood a little differently in the animistic religion of the Ainu people. Given that mountains are deities it is not surprising that there are a number of hills with the same name around Hokkaido. In this case, however, the name was bestowed by surveyors; the original Ainu name is Puneshiri (shiri means mountain) Hokkaido Natsuyama Gaido 1, 北海道夏山ガイド 1 道央の山々 (Hokkaido Shimbunsha, p.80).

Route Timing
Up | 4hrs
Down | 3hrs

About 2 hours 50mins to Kamui-dake, one hour each way along the ridge to Eboshi-dake. Around 2 hours 10 mins on the descent back down from Kamui-dake to the trailhead.

Route

The trail is well defined and signposted up to Kamui-dake 神威岳. The trail along the connecting ridge to Eboshi-dake 烏帽子岳 is much narrower and rougher underfoot, and is overgrown with overhead sasa dwarf bamboo in places.

After filling in details of your party in the book provided in the small booth at the trailhead, head along a forest road beside the river and a small dam for 20mins, before turning left away from the main river and then left up the hillside on a signed path. Continue through forest at an easy gradient for another 20 mins or so to rejoin the road for another short stretch before reaching the trail proper. This climbs up alongside small creeks and up a ridge, and passes a viewpoint to reach the main ridge and a trail junction after a short roped section in about 1 hour 30 mins. Turn right here to reach the summit of Kamui-dake in a few minutes. Turning left takes you down a rough path to a col and up to Eboshi-dake in an hour or less. Return the same way.

Transport

Public transport:

A bus service runs from Sapporo Station 札幌駅 and Makomanai Station 真駒内駅 (at the end of the Nanboku subway line 南北線) to Jozankei 定山渓. Get off at the Hyakumatsubashi 百松橋 stop and cross the small bridge to the trailhead.

By car: 

Drive a few km out of Sapporo along Route 230 towards Jozankei. Shortly after the turn to Koganeyu Onsen 小金湯温泉, you’ll need to make a U-turn to get to a small parking area just off the main road, here, before you get to the closed-to-traffic bridge (or after the bridge if coming from the Jozankei direction). From there, it’s a 250m walk to a small bridge crossing the Toyohira river beside the main road. The trailhead is just over the bridge.

Hut(s)

None

Physical maps

Yama to Kogen Chizu 2, Niseko and Yoteizan (Shobunsha) 山と高原地図2、ニセコ・羊蹄山 (昭文社). In Japanese, includes course times.

GSI Topo Map: Teineyama (手稲山) – map no. NK-54-14-14-2
GSI Topo Map 2: Jozankei (定山渓) – map no. NK-54-14-15-1

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 route is relatively short and close to Sapporo, the usual caveats about appropriate bad weather gear apply. The ridge is exposed to the wind and the upper slopes can be colder than down at the trailhead. Near the top is a steep roped section that could be dangerous in icy conditions. Despite its proximity to Sapporo this is very much bear country so take the usual precautions.

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Kamui-dake

Onsen nearby

Koganeyu onsen 小金湯温泉 is just down Route 230 towards Sapporo. Of the two bathhouses we prefer the smaller Matsu no Yu 松の湯 (850yen, location) for its outside bath overlooking the river.

Extra Resources

Hokkaido Natsuyama Gaido 1, 北海道夏山ガイド 1 道央の山々 (Hokkaido Shimbunsha). These Japanese-language guides are updated every few years.

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

We usually avoid the hills around town during midsummer as they are covered in forest, which limits the views, is home to mosquitoes and can get hot and sticky. It’s the season for the high mountains of central Hokkaido instead. In autumn, though, they come into their own as the crisp mornings, vivid colours and clear skies are simply stunning.

On our last visit the hill was ablaze with colour as we climbed up from the forest road and up to the viewpoint, then hauled ourselves up the rope to the main ridge and trail junction. We took the trail to Eboshi-dake first, dropping down into the col and then up the other side on the rough and rocky path. Near the top we waded through overhead thickets of sasa dwarf bamboo up to the open rocky shoulder. Once on the flat ridge that forms the summit we had occasional trouble following the trail through the thick undergrowth, but eventually located the small summit signboard.

The view back to the stubby top of Kamui-dake jutting out of the golden forest made the effort all worthwhile, so after a break and a bite to eat we retraced our steps back to the junction and on up to its small summit. Here the view extended all the way over the city and we passed the time trying to identify our respective apartments in the distance, without much luck. All that remained then was to drop back down the main trail to the car for the five-minute drive to Matsu no Yu, where we relaxed in the outside bath facing the cliffs across the river splashed with yellow and gold. By now our appetite was sharpened for the next item on the agenda, a tasty bowl of miso ramen at Shirakaba Sanso on the outskirts of town. On days like this, it’s no exaggeration to say we feel blessed to live in Sapporo.

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Kamui-dake and Eboshi-dake Dayhike Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

A

40

Time ascending

B

6

Technicality

Altitude

B

6

Hazards

D

Navigation

D

Totals

52/100

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.