(CLOSED) Haruka-yama Ginreiso Hut
Last updated Sep 23, 2022
CLOSED: As of April 2022, Ginreiso Hut is closed due to old age and disrepair, and cannot be used (see news article here). It is locked and not accessible by the public. This hut’s future is uncertain. We’ll keep this information here in hopes the hut might be reopened in the future.
Ginreiso Hut was first built in 1934 by Hokkaido University with funds from Hokkaido Newspaper. This original hut was demolished before the Second World War. A new hut (the present one) was rebuilt on the site in 1960 again with funds from Hokkaido Newspaper, and was transferred to Tokai University’s ownership in 1974 as a student and staff recreational facility – details in Japanese here: PDF | PDF copy. 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). It serves not only as a great destination for a single overnight trip, but is also an important link in the historic chain of huts (hütten kette) in the hills to the west of Sapporo City (see one hut-to-hut ski tour here). The hutkeeper is usually not at the hut on Wednesday and Thursday nights, as he has to go down to Sapporo City. When he is not at the hut, it is locked and not available for use. Stays must be booked at least 2 working days in advance by calling (in Japanese) Tokai University Sapporo Campus on 011-571-5111 during office hours. The university requests that notice of cancellations must be made to the university (no-shows at the hut may result in a search being mounted).
Stays must be booked at least 2 working days in advance by calling Tokai University Sapporo Campus (in Japanese) on 011-571-5111 during office hours. The university requests that if bookings are cancelled for any reason, notice of the cancellation must be made to the university (no-shows at the hut may result in a search being mounted). The hutkeeper is not usually at the hut on Wednesday and Thursday nights (they are his ‘weekend’ days, as defined by university policy), but call the university for a definite schedule, as there are times when public holidays etc dictate that the hutkeeper will be present/absent on different days.
800yen per person per overnight stay. 400yen per person if you just want to use the hut facilities during the day.
Heating: The hutkeeper maintains a cosy temperature in the hut using the gargantuan wood stove on the first floor of the hut. The hutkeeper is in charge of the stove, so leave it up to him; no trash is to be burned in the stove.
Water: There is running spring water in the hut, which can be consumed without treatment.
Kitchen/cooking: There is a large indoor kitchen area. Drinking water is on the left, a tub for washing dishes is on the right. A selection of pots, pans and cutlery are available for use on a first-in-first-served basis. In principle visitors are required to bring their own portable stoves for cooking.
Bedding: Sleeping quarters are on the second floor of the hut. There are four separate bunk rooms, one with space for up to 10 people, the rest sleep around five to six people. Bunks have basic, very hard and lumpy mattresses on them. There is a copious supply of blankets in the hut, but as a rule, guests should have their own sleeping bags (no sheets are provided). Blankets can be used to add warmth to your own sleeping bag, if neccessary. I’ve always found it more comfortable to bring my own sleeping mat, which I use on top of thebhard and lumpy matresses supplied. It can get cold in the hut in the early morning in winter, so at least a three-season sleeping bag is recommended.
Elecricity: There is no electricity in the hut. Night-time lighting is courtesy of a number of old-school kerosene lanterns, managed by the hutkeeper.
Toilets: Basic long-drop toilets are accessed from within the hut. Toilet paper is not supplied – guests must bring their own toilet paper.
Cell reception: There is no mobile coverage at the hut or on the route.
The current hutkeeper is the fourth live-in hutkeeper at Ginreiso Hut. He’s been the hutkeeper at Ginreiso Hut for about 13 years now.
Ginreiso is different from other huts in Hokkaido in that it is not a public hut – it is privately owned and operated by Tokai University. Therefore, as stated above, stays must be booked (in Japanese) at least two working days in advance, and notification of cancellation must be made to the university well before the intended arrival time. Also, the hutkeeper keeps a tight ship, and knows the most efficient ways of enjoying the hut. He communicates these ways and rules by doing rather than telling, so just go with the flow. Make sure all snow is brushed off packs, boots and clothing before entering the hut. Boots need to be removed before entering the main part of the hut, but can be placed inside at the rear of the large stove to dry. Gloves and hats can be placed on the large drying rack over the stove. Jackets and skins etc. can be hung up on the second floor, above the stove.
Ginreiso Hut Photo Gallery
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