5 Best Hakuba Fall Hikes

Nestled in the heart of the Northern Japanese Alps, Hakuba is a hiker’s dream come true.

While it’s well-known as a premier ski destination, its autumn allure is something every nature lover should experience. The vibrant autumn leaves, crisp mountain air, and panoramic views create an unforgettable backdrop for Hakuba Fall Hikes.

From leisurely strolls to challenging treks, Hakuba has something for everyone.

Autumn Season in Hakuba

Hakuba is a spectacle of nature’s beauty. From late September to early November, cool, crisp mornings and warm afternoons make Hakuba ideal for hiking and outdoor exploration. The foliage turns a vibrant mix of reds, yellows, and oranges, creating a mesmerizing contrast against the majestic peaks of the Northern Japan Alps.

Why Hike Hakuba in the Fall: Autumn Foliage

Hiking in Hakuba during the fall has several benefits:

  • Spectacular Scenery: The mountains are a stunning backdrop for Japan’s autumn.
  • Mild Weather: The temperatures are cool but not cold, making for comfortable hiking conditions.
  • Photographic Opportunities: Capture breathtaking landscapes and vibrant colors.
  • Long Fall Season: The autumn foliage season in Hakuba typically lasts for around two months, giving you ample time to plan your visit.

5 Best Hakuba Fall Hikes

Here is our list of the best Hakuba fall hikes.

1 – Happo Ike Pond Hike

Hakuba Fall Hikes - Happo Ike
Image Source: Happo One Kaihatsu
  • Location: Happo-One Ski Resort
  • Length: 3 hours round trip
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Begin your adventure at the Happo-One Ski Resort. From the top of the Grat quad, follow the Happo ridge to Happo Pond. The hike is only 2.5 kilometers, making it a perfect choice for a day hike or an introduction to hiking in Hakuba. The route is well-traveled and easy to identify, making it accessible for hikers of all levels. The pond is a gorgeous destination, with stunning views of the mountains and plenty of spots to relax and take in the autumn leaves.

2 – Tsugaike Nature Park Walk

Hakuba Fall Hikes - Tsugaike
Image Source: Paul Deckret

Location: Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort | Length: 1-3.5 hours, depending on the course | Difficulty: Easy

Tsugaike Nature Park is a wonderland of marshlands and alpine meadows. Start your hike from the gondola station at Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort. The park features several boardwalks that take you through vibrant autumn foliage and provide 360-degree views of the mountains. Whether you choose a short stroll or a longer hike, the beauty of this park will leave you mesmerized. The visitor center offers information and amenities such as a climbing wall, slackline, photo booth, and a café area with a drink bar, making it a great place to enjoy before or after your hike.

3 – Mt. Kotomi Trek

Hakuba Fall Hikes - Goryu Kotomi
Image Source: Canva

Location: Hakuba Village | Length: 2 hours uphill, 1.5 hours downhill | Difficulty: Moderate

The Mt. Kotomi Trek is a captivating journey that begins at the end of the Goryu’s top. This moderately complex trek to the summit of Mt. Kotomi at 2007 meters takes about 2 hours to ascend and 1.5 hours to descend.

As you navigate this trail, you will encounter several noteworthy landmarks, including the scenic Jizo Cairn at approximately 1,676 meters, which offers a stunning 360-degree panoramic view.

Throughout the trek, hikers will be treated to breathtaking vistas of the Hakuba mountain range and autumn leaves.

4 – Mount Jiigatake Hike

Hakuba Fall Hikes - Jiigatake
Image Source: Mike Humphrey

Location: Omachi | Length: 2 -3 hours one-way | Difficulty: Moderate

Mount Jiigatake is one of my favorite fall hikes and a favorite with my kids. The trailhead is easily accessible by car, and the hike takes approximately 2 hours. The path is well-maintained, making it suitable for families with children or beginner hikers. If you leave early enough, the hutt at the top even serves pizza for lunch. We often hike this route in the middle of fall and spend the night at the hut at the top.

5 – Oide Park Walk

Hakuba Fall Hikes - Oide Park
Image Source: Canva

Location: Hakuba Village | Length: 0.5 – 1 hour | Difficulty: Easy

Oide Park offers a tranquil environment perfect for a leisurely walk. The park’s spectacular view of picturesque mountains, trees, and changing seasons make it an ideal spot to enjoy the fall colors. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to relax and soak in the autumn beauty in Hakuba. Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic in the park, or stop by one of the many cafes nearby for a warm cup of tea. The path is well-paved, making it suitable for strollers and wheelchairs.

Hakuba Fall Activities

Visit Hakuba for more than just hiking. The scenic mountain town offers a variety of activities and experiences to enjoy during the fall season. Here are some suggestions:

  • Mountain Biking: With fewer crowds and cooler weather, fall is an ideal time for biking in Hakuba. Rent a bike and explore the beautiful countryside on two wheels.
  • Onsen: Soak in one of Hakuba’s many natural hot springs after hiking or biking. Relax your muscles while taking in the stunning autumn scenery.
  • Scenic Drives: Rent a car and drive through the Northern Alps. The roads are less crowded during fall, making it an ideal time to explore at your own pace. Stop at breathtaking viewpoints and take in the fall colors.


Hakuba’s fall hikes offer something for everyone, from easy walks to more challenging treks. The stunning scenery, vibrant foliage, and crisp mountain air create an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a peaceful retreat, Hakuba’s trails await you.

Ready to explore Hakuba’s autumn beauty? Book a call with one of our CloMo stylists today to refine your hiking gear and get personalized trail recommendations. Let’s make your fall adventure unforgettable!


How to get to Hakuba?

Getting to Hakuba is easily accessible by train or bus from Tokyo. The most convenient way to get there is by taking the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station, then transferring to a local bus or train to Hakuba Station. Alternatively, you can take a direct bus from Shinjuku in Tokyo to Hakuba.

What is the best time to hike in Hakuba during the fall?

The best time to hike in Hakuba during the fall is from mid to late October when the autumn foliage is at its peak.

Are the trails in Hakuba suitable for beginners?

Yes, Hakuba offers a range of trails suitable for all levels, from easy walks like Oide Park to more challenging treks like Mt. Kotoomi.

What should I bring for a fall hike in Hakuba?

Wear layers to stay warm, bring a good pair of hiking boots and carry water, snacks, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery.

Can I hike in Hakuba in other seasons?

Absolutely! Hakuba offers excellent hiking opportunities from late spring to early autumn, each season providing unique experiences and spectacular views.