This is really one of the beautiful hikes in our area. At 2,857 meters, Mt. Jonen is the friendly and distinct peak that towers over the Azumino valley and can be seen from many places within Matsumoto city. Mt. Jonen is usually snow-covered between December and March, so the best time to hike it is between May and November.
The popular Mt. Jonen Lodge features cozy rooms with futons, blankets and hot meals provided. For the more rugged, there’s a campground adjacent to the lodge where you can pitch your own tent.
Details: The trailhead begins at Ichinosawa which is about 20 minutes by car/taxi from Hotaka Station (beware: there is an alternate hiking route that begins at Mitsumata and is much more difficult). It takes about 30 minutes from Matsumoto to Hotaka by car or train.
From the trailhead (restrooms, drinking water, shelter) the route follows a beautiful mountain stream as it gradually narrows; the trail gets steeper, then the final hour is mostly switchbacks leading to the saddle where the lodge is located. Trailhead to lodge is about 3.5 to 4.5 hours, then another hour (steep) to the summit. Allow some time at the top as it is one of the most beautiful vistas in the Japanese Alps.