Zenibako Tengu-yama Half-day Hike


Posted on Aug 7, 2020

Posted on Aug 7, 2020

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Highest point



Best season icon (Hokkaido Wilds)

Best season





Zenibako Tengu-yama 銭函天狗山 is only 537m high, but has a satisfyingly rocky summit and great views over the northern suburbs of Sapporo and along the sweep of the Ishikari Bay towards the northeast. In autumn the colours are lovely and it is a great place to stretch your legs for a short day out, especially as the access is easy by local train.

We visited this route on Oct 22, 2018


Route Map

Photo Gallery

Need to know details


Zenibako Tengu-yama is just outside the outer suburbs of Sapporo and Teine Ward 手稲区, behind the small coastal hamlet of Zenibako 銭函 on the main rail line between Sapporo and Otaru. The hiking trail starts at a small car park area just south of the expressway, here.

General notes

This hike is easily accessible by public transport via JR Zenibako Station 銭函駅 on the main line from Sapporo to Otaru, though it is necessary to walk through residential areas for 1.6 km to reach the start of the hiking trail itself. There are plenty of facilities around the station. There is a small hut, Zeniten Sanso 銭天山荘 a short way beyond the trailhead but this is privately owned and is kept locked. The cliffs near the summit are a rock climbing venue and there may be climbers around. The summer hiking season is from May to November.

Route Timing
Up | 1.5hrs
Down | 1hrs

The above timings are from the trailhead – add another hour when walking to and from the railway station.


Go out of the main entrance of Zenibako station facing the ocean, and turn right. Cross the tracks and go diagonally up the hill to the busy main road, Route 5 that connects Sapporo and Otaru. Cross over and continue diagonally uphill towards the expressway interchange at Zenibako but after a few hundred metres turn right on a narrow steep road that takes you up the hill, under the expressway, then loops back round to the welfare facility of Okurayama Gakuen 大倉山学園, about 30 mins from the station. The hiking path trailhead is just beyond the buildings. After 15mins or so you pass the private Zeniten Sanso 銭天山荘 hut. Beyond this the trail continues along by a stream, then crosses over and climbs more steeply up through the forest to a ridge, which it then follows to the summit, with cliffs dropping off to the left near the top. There are a number of small paths branching off that are used by rock climbers but the main trail is obvious. It should take around an hour and a half from the trailhead. Return the same way.


Public transport:

There are local or semi-express trains every 20 mins or so between Sapporo and Otaru and most stop at Zenibako Station 銭函駅 (Google Maps has timetable information). If going by bus along Route 5, get off at the Zenibako 銭函 stop, about 800m walk from the trailhead (Google Maps has timetable information).

By car: 

From Route 5, take the road towards the expressway interchange at Zenibako, then turn off uphill up the narrow road that goes under the expressway to Okurayama Gakuen 大倉山学園. There is space for a few cars a bit further on past the buildings, here.



Physical maps
GSI Topo Map: Zenibako (銭函) – map no. NK-54-14-14-1

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 a short and easy route the path is steep in places and does run next to some steep cliffs at the top. Bears are always a possibility even this close to the city.

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Zenibako Tengu-yama

Onsen nearby

If heading back into Sapporo there are some onsen/super sento type facilities in Teine 手稲. For a super traditional sento experience, try the pokey Fuji-no-yu sento (藤の湯, location, 450yen) – they’ve been in business for over 100 years (founded in 1919). For a much more fully-featured super-sento with attached restaurant and Korean-style ganban-yoku, try the bustling Teine Honoka (ていね温泉ほのか, location, 900yen).


Extra Resources

In Japanese: Hokkaido Natsuyama Gaido 1, 北海道夏山ガイド 1 道央の山々 (Hokkaido Shimbunsha, 2010), pp. 62-67. These 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

This is one of the few hills around Sapporo that I’ve managed to persuade my wife to climb with me, so it must be easy. Or maybe my powers of persuasion were operating at their highest levels that day. I had been stealthily buying her bits of hiking gear for months, so now it was payback time. In any event, we had a fun short day out. It was easy to get to as our local JR station is on the same line. The weather was at its autumnal best, the summit was empty, and we enjoyed the seasonal colours and extensive view from the top before wandering back down to catch the train home.

Comments | Queries | Reports

Done this Zenibako Tengu-yama route? Thinking of doing it? Please post any feedback or queries here. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Zenibako Tengu-yama Half-day Hike”

  1. Thanks for posting these hikes. I’ve been coming to Sapporo for about 18 years and this is the first English resource I’ve found. I’ve hiked several of your routes. Thank you so much.

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Zenibako Tengu-yama Half-day Hike Difficulty Rating





Vertical Gain



Time ascending













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.