Okuteine Yama-no-Ie Hut

奥手稲山の家
Hut fees to be paid
Booking required
Has stove/heating
Has water source
Has full kitchen
Has toilets
Winter use only

Posted on Oct 1, 2018
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Posted on Oct 1, 2018

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The amazing Yama-no-Ie Hut tucked below Mt. Okuteine (奥手稲山, 948m) on the outer reaches of Sapporo City, is everything you can expect from a mountain hut managed by largely ambivalent Japanese university students: dingy, messy, and a glowing red-hot potbelly stove kept that way by the intrepid first-year students who hauled the coal up the mountain on their backs. But it’s that charm that makes it worth the trip to this hut in winter via a handful of different routes. The hut is not officially open in summer.

Last updated Mar 4, 2019

Location

Tucked into the hills to the west of Mt. Teine, and east of Sapporo Kokusai Ski Area (here).

General notes

The Okuteine Yama-no-Ie (literally “mountain house”) hut was built in 1930 during the early skiing boom era in Japan by the National Railway Department to facilitate ski touring in and around the Zenibako area. It was built in cooperation with professors at Hokkaido University. The idea was that if the railway department built a dedicated ski touring hut in the hills near Zenibako Station, then that would boost the department’s profits, since skiers would flock to the area by train (see more detailed history on the 3-day traverse route here). The hut is now owned by Hokkaido University, and managed by the Hokkaido University Wandervogel Student Club.

The hut is not officially open in summer, but its not locked, and club members visit every couple of weeks. There aren’t any hiking trails to any of the summits surrounding the hut that start at the hut.

Capacity
Sleeps 40 people.
Official contact
Hokkaido University Student Support Department (Extracurricular Activities Officer) (学務部学生支援課課外活動担当)
TEL: 011-706-7533
Maintenance
Hokkaido University Wandervogel Verein
北海道大学ワンダーフォーゲル部
Booking

In principle, overnight stays must be pre-booked and paid up at Hokkaido University. Either call 011-706-7533 directly to book, or if your Japanese is rusty, then head straight to the No. 3 window on the ground floor at the Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education at Hokkaido University to book and pay (location on Google maps).

Hut Fees

80yen per person per night (yes, 80yen – that’s not a typo).

Facilities

Heating: Coal stove. The hut is heated with a roaring coal stove, with copious amounts of coal available for use. Newspaper for starting the fire is also supplied. Use copious amounts of newspaper, rolled tightly, to light the coal (i.e., fill the stove 2/3 with paper, and put some coal on top). Make sure the stove has been thoroughly cleared of ash inside before lighting. The coal stove can bring a large kettle of water to boil in about 20 minutes. In the unlikely event that you find there’s no coal in the buckets next to the stove, you can access the basement via a door and trapdoor from the kitchen area (on your immediate right after entering the kitchen).

Water: The hut has running water in the kitchen, flowing 24/7 in winter to avoid freezing the pipes. The water source is a creek near the hut, so please boil before consuming.

Kitchen/cooking: There is a separated kitchen area with a full array of utensils, pots and pans. There are no cooking facilities apart from the coal stove, so you’ll need your own gas/portable cooker if you want to heat things quickly.

Bedding: The hut has a limited number of old mattresses and blankets, but you may want to bring your own sleeping bag and mat. In particular on the weekends it is first in first served on the bedding.

Elecricity: There are solar panels and an inverter which power a couple of LED lights inside the hut, however sunny days can be few and far between, so the batteries may not be charged very full. Better to assume no electricity in the hut.

Toilets: There are basic long-drops in the hut, accessed from the entrance area.

Cell reception: No reception (Docomo, AU, and Softbank tested).

Hutkeeper

On the weekends, Hokkaido University Wandervogel club members, from the club that manages the hut, are often at the hut from late morning on Saturday to early morning on Sunday. On weekdays there is no manager at the hut but it is unlocked and can be used.

Related Maps

NOTE: For number references to official printed topographical maps, check the main route report ( Okuteine-yama, Yama-no-ie Hut and Tsuge-yama ).

Special Okuteine Yama-no-Ie  Hut Notes

Boots can be worn inside the hut on the ground floor in winter, but the upper two floors are socks only. Please make sure to clean/sweep up after use, and clear the stove of any ash before you leave.  Like most huts in Hokkaido, Okuteine Hut is maintained 100% through passionate, volunteer time and effort. Always leave a hut cleaner than you found it.

Okuteine Yama-no-Ie Hut Photo Gallery

Comments | Queries | Reports

Have you visited the Okuteine Yama-no-Ie Hut? Thinking of visiting? Please post any feedback or queries here. Thanks!

4 thoughts on “Okuteine Yama-no-Ie Hut”

  1. I’m a member of HUWV managing the hut.
    Thank you for using it comfortably.
    The stove has repaired. Therefore, you can use it and sleep warmly.
    We hope you’ll visit us again!

  2. We were there two nights ago and the stove was broken! There were two girls from the university there clearing snow but they couldn’t seem to fix it. Prepare for a cold night if you’re going anytime soon.

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Okuteine Yama-no-Ie Hut Difficulty Rating

Category

Grade

Points

Strenuousness

Vertical Gain

D

25

Time ascending

D

0

Technicality

Altitude

D

0

Hazards

D

Navigation

D

Totals

25/100

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.