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Akan, Mashu, KussharoAkan-Mashu National Park


Mt. Nishibetsu Beginners Challenging Mountain Climbing Course

Mt. Nishibetsu Beginners Challenging Mountain Climbing Courseの写真
Mountain Climbing
Time Required:
1 h 30 min.
3.2 km
Climb up to a treasure trove of alpine plants and a view of all of eastern Hokkaido!

Course Outline

This course takes you on the climbing trail from Nishibetsu Cabin up to the summit of Mt. Nishibetsu where you can enjoy panoramic views of Mt. Mashu, Lake Mashu, and scenery that embodies the essence of Hokkaido’s landscape. At 799 meters, Mt. Nishibetsu is located to the southeast of Lake Mashu and is famous for the view it commands of the lake and its surroundings. The course starts out with a gentle slope and later comes to a steep climb aptly nicknamed "Gamanzaka," which is Japanese for "Perseverance Slope." Once you conquer the Gamanzaka Slope, the path opens up into an expansive flower meadow. If you glance back toward the way you came, on a fine day, you will have a stunning view of the Hokkaido’s boundlessly vast landscape. At the summit, you will be greeted by an outlook of Mt. Mashu and Lake Mashu. From here, you can also see Mt. O-akan, Mt. Me-akan, and all the way to the mountains of Shiretoko and Kunashiri Island.

* During winter, the approach by car to the Nishibetsu Cabin are closed. Park at the gate of connecting forest road to the cabin, then, 2 hour walk on the forest road is required.


The starting point on your journey to a breathtaking view
The starting point on your journey to a breathtaking view

Nishibetsu Cabin from the outside

At Nishibetsu Cabin is the location of the trailhead for Mt. Nishibetsu. There are toilets set up outside and if you go inside, you will find a wonderful wood-burning stove, shelves filled with a myriad of books, and beddings laid out on the second floor. Although Nishibetsu Cabin has parking spaces and toilets available, there is no place to get drinking water, so you will need to prepare your own ahead of time. Logs for the wood-burning stove are piled up outside.

The flowing fauna of Mt. Nishibetsu
The flowing fauna of Mt. Nishibetsu

Iris setosa (above), Kamtchatka rhododendron (below)

If you persevere up the steep Gamanzaka ("Perseverance Slope"), Mt. Nishibetsu’s most difficult stretch, you will be rewarded by a field of beautiful alpine wildflowers. Although Mt. Nishibetsu is a comparatively low mountain with an elevation of 799 meters, the mist from Lake Mashu carried over by the wind allows various alpine plants, which would normally only grow at higher elevations, to bloom on the mountain from spring to fall. When the season is right, you can see the Kamchatka rhododendrons, Pedicularis japonica, woolly geraniums, keyflowers, Kamchatka thistles, Iris setosa and other wildflowers blooming across the meadow.

A vast panorama of Mt. Mashu and Lake Mashu
A vast panorama of Mt. Mashu and Lake Mashu

The summit of Mt. Nishibetsu

Mt. Nishibetsu’s summit has a wide-open and unobstructed view point that presents a full, 360-degree panorama. Here, you can enjoy a view of Mt. Mashu and Lake Mashu, and when the weather is fine, you can even see all the way to Mt. O-akan, Mt. Me-akan, Mt. Sharidake, and Kunashiri Island. Also, Konsen Plateau lies to the southeast and the expansive pasture lands that spread out before you embody the quintessential scenery of Hokkaido.

Course Map

Mt. Nishibetsu Beginners Challenging Mountain Climbing Course

Course Time

Starting Point
Entrance to Mt. Nishibetsu Climing Trail (Nishibetsu Cabin)
40 min.
0.9 km
Gamanzaka Slope (Top)
20 min.
1.1 km
Mt. Risuke
30 min.
1.2 km
Summit of Mt. Nishibetsu
*Course time and distance are estimates.