Last updated Feb 16, 2019
The 3-storey Shokanso Hut (署寒荘, 295m), which sleeps 30, is a relatively new hut. It is a re-build of an older hut that was gutted by fire 53 years ago. It is maintained by the Mashike Mountaineering Association (増毛山岳会), but managed by the Mashike Town Council Commerce and Tourism Department. Until the second Friday in April each year, the access road to the hut is only cleared to around 5km before the hut. As of 2018, winter use is for emergencies only. If you happen to use the hut for an emergency, this notice requests that you visit the town council afterwards to notify them of your name, number in party, and your route.
Call the Mashike Town Office Commerce and Tourism Department (TEL: 0164-53-3332) for up-to-date details about how to book and use the hut during the periods while the road is open to general traffic.
Heating: The hut is heated by a large wood stove. Wood is stored inside the hut, and there is extra stacked outside under the hut balconies on the front and right-hand side looking towards the hut. There is newspaper and kindling inside the hut for fire-starting.
- IMPORTANT: Wood is painstakingly transported to the hut and stacked by volunteers from the Mashike Mountaineering Association (http://mashikeclmn.sblo.jp/article/181285810.html), so please use wood sparingly. If you use wood stored inside the hut, please replace it with wood from outside before you leave.
Water: Running water is piped into the hut’s kitchen area from the small dam just above the hut. All drinking water must be boiled. IMPORTANT: Do not turn the tap off inside the hut during winter. It is left running all winter to avoid the pipes freezing.
Kitchen/cooking: Pots and pans (including frypans), cutlery, cups, glasses, ceramic bowls and plates etc. are available for use. Wash and return after use. When we were there, there was a small portable gas stove (like this) available for communal/first-come-first-served use (bring your own non-threaded gas canister, like this). However, you’re better off assuming there is no cooking stove in the hut – bring your own. That said, the large wood stove heats water in kettles on the stove quite quickly (30 mins or so) if you get the stove hot.
Bedding: Officially, there are no mattresses or bedding in the hut. When we were there, however, there were about 10 sets of bedding including folding foam mattresses, futons, down quilts, and pillows, all available for use on a first-come-first-served basis.
Elecricity: There is no electricity in the hut.
Toilets: Toilets (with toilet paper) are inside the hut, and are basic long-drops.
Cell reception: No.
There is no hutkeeper at the hut in winter.
Special Shokanso Hut Notes
If you need to use the hut in an emergency during the winter months when the road is still closed, you’ll find the hut is mostly buried on the ground floor. The floor at eye-level in late winter is actually the second story. The entrance is 2 meters down, on the ground floor. Entering the hut, the toilets are on the left. Inside the hut proper you’ll be greeted by a stone floor area and the wood stove. This area is officially ‘outside’, so you can wear your boots in this area, store skis etc. In contrast, all wood floor surfaces are inside-shoes only, so either use the supplied slippers or your boot liners anywhere other than the stone floors. If you’re the first to arrive, the ground-floor windows will have wooden shutters covering them. These shutters hinge outwards and upwards, and are secured using the attached thin rope. Remember: Always leave a hut cleaner than you found it.The vast majority of huts in Hokkaido are 100% maintained through passionate volunteer time and effort. If you make a visit, please give the place a clean, and make sure to sign the guest book. Always leave a hut cleaner than you found it.
Shokanso Hut Photo Gallery
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