Aizanso Hut

Hut fees to be paid
Has stove/heating
Has full kitchen
Has toilets
Accessible by bicycle

Posted on Apr 25, 2019
14 2

Posted on Apr 25, 2019

14 2
The Aizanso Hut (愛山荘) is a well-loved two-story hut built, maintained, and funded by the Abashiri Alpine Club (網走山岳会). It is located near the top of the Shiretoko Pass, on the Utoro side, about 7km up the pass from the Shiretoko Nature Center. It is only accessible by foot in winter - the Shiretoko Pass is closed until April. Its location begs it to be used as a base to explore nearby peaks such as the impressive Rausu-dake (羅臼岳, 1660m) or Chinishibetsu-dake (知西別岳, 1315m). It is a fully volunteer-run hut, so relies on hut fee donations from users of around 1000yen per night.

Last updated Mar 17, 2020


The Aizanso Hut is located about 7km up the Shiretoko Pass road (Route 334) at around 510m altitude (here), in far eastern Hokkaido. It is on the climber’s right hand side of the road, about 150m into the forest, just after the 20.5km sign on the Shiretoko Pass road.

General notes

Aizanso Hut (愛山荘) is a two-story hut, belonging to the Abashiri Alpine Club (網走山岳会). The name of the hut literally translates as “Love for the Mountains Hut”. It was built and is maintained as a winter base for exploring the mountains in the immediate vicinity, such as Rausu-dake, Chinishibetsu-dake, and it would also support skiers attempting full winter traverses of the Shiretoko mountain range (such as a 14-day solo unsupported traverse by a Abashiri Apline Club member – Day 1 here).

The hut is fully funded and maintained by the club. Therefore, the hut maintenance depends heavily on hut fee donations by users. For the services provided (effective wood stove with plenty of wood, plus an outside toilet), the alpine club requests a donation of at least 1,000yen per person per night.

  • Winter entry to the hut
    The main entrance to the hut is on the ground floor. This entrance will be blocked by snow during winter, so either dig the snow away from the entrance, or enter via the second floor. There was a sign in the hut advising people not to force the ground floor door open. If it is difficult to open, use the second floor entrance. When we were there in March 2019, the second floor was being used more as a storage space than a living space. There is a flight of stairs down to the first floor.
  • “Close the doors”
    When we were there in March 2019, there were multiple notices reminding users to close the entrances (both ground and second floor) securely when leaving. There have been instances of doors being left open, leading to most of the hut filling with wind-drifted snow.
  • Parking
    Access to the hut in winter is usually from the Utoro side of the Shiretoko Pass. Skiers will park up at the Shiretoko Nature Center (here), and go from there. A representative from the Abashiri Alpine Club requested that visitors to the hut mention to nature center staff that they’ll be leaving their car parked overnight or longer. If a car is left overnight or longer, sometimes the nature center staff get concerned that the owners might be lost in the mountains.
Sleeps 15 people.
Official contact
Abashiri Alpine Club (網走山岳会)
TEL: 0152-24-2202 | NOTE: All inquires should be in Japanese, and please mention that you do intend to make a donation of 1000yen per person per night – there have been recent cases of people using the hut without contributing.
Abashiri Alpine Club

There is no need to book. The hut is unlocked and available for use year round. All users must sign the guest book.

Hut Fees

All users are requested to contribute 1000yen per person per night. There is a donation box inside the hut. Your donation helps to cover fuel (wood plus labor) costs, as well as general upkeep of the hut. All users must sign the guest book.


Heating: The hut is heated via a wood stove, with wood provided. When it is loaded up with plenty of wood, the stove will melt a large pot of snow and, if transferred to a kettle, will bring the melted snow to a boil in around 45 minutes. There is plenty of tinder for lighting the stove, and there are axes for cutting kindling.

Water: There is no running water supply at the hut in winter.

Kitchen/cooking: There is a selection of pots, frypans, some cutlery, knives and grilling meshes at the hut. There are a couple of ‘cassette gas burners’ at the hut, so bring your own compatible non-threaded gas canister (like this, available in supermarkets for around 150yen per canister) to use them. Club members will have priority on all equipment in the hut, so we recommend bringing your own cooking equipment as a backup.

Bedding: No bedding is supplied.

Elecricity: No.

Toilets: There is a large portable toilet outside, about 20m from the hut. In winter, you’ll need to dig a space for the door to be opened. Make sure to close the door securely with the supplied cable. Don’t force the door open – take the time to clear enough snow from around the door.

Cell reception: No.



Related Maps

NOTE: For number references to official printed topographical maps, check the main route report ( Rausu-dake Southwest Couloir Ski Tour ).

Special Aizanso  Hut Notes

The vast majority of huts in Hokkaido are 100% maintained through passionate volunteer time and effort, and the Aizanso Hut is no exception. If you make a visit, please give the place a clean, post your 1000yen donation per person in the box provided, and make sure to sign the guest book. Always leave a hut cleaner than you found it.

Aizanso Hut Trip reports

Aizanso Hut Photo Gallery

Comments | Queries | Reports

Have you visited the Aizanso Hut? Thinking of visiting? Please post any feedback or queries here. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Aizanso Hut”

  1. Hi, we have a group of five gaijin that we’re hoping to stay at the hut. We called to see if it was open and trial conditions. They said we could not stay; only friends of the club can visit. Is this accurate?

    1. Hi Tim, I just called the Abashiri Alpine Club phone number listed above, and the representative on the other end said that it’s OK to stay. He did mention that someone had called earlier, but it seems it was a bit of a miscommunication – you’re welcome to stay on the condition that A) each person contributes a donation of 1000yen per person per night (i.e., 5000yen per night for five people), B) you make sure all doors and windows are closed after leaving and C) that you put your name(s) in the logbook. It seems they still get some users who use the hut without making a contribution and/or leave windows/doors open. He stressed that it’s a big cost to the club transporting wood to the hut each season. He also said that when parking at the nature center, it would be best to mention to the staff there what your plans are. It’s no problem to park there, but apparently the club sometimes gets concerned inquiries from the nature center about cars left for a couple of days in the parking lot. Enjoy, and I hope you get some good weather for your trip!

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Aizanso Hut Difficulty Rating





Vertical Gain



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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.