Map number 23 (you can also get Kinpu, Mizugaki, Ryokami, Kobushi, and Daibosatsu). Description number 66.
Mt. Kumotori is about 1 hour 45 minutes from my house in Sagamihara. This hike can be done as a day hike and there are 2 places (that I’m aware of) that you can park. The 1st place is at Mitsumine shrine, which is north of Kumotori. The 2nd place is south of Kumotori, in a small parking lot near Haguro Shrine. Now, I think you can also access Kumotori form Okutama, but I’m not sure about parking and because of the distance, you’ll probably need more than 1 day to complete. I parked near Haguro Shrine. There’s a nice little dirt parking lot with restrooms there, and the trail starts just a short distance up the road.
From this start point, according to map time, you’ll reach the 1st hut in about 3 hours, I got there in about 1.5 hrs (and was drenched in sweat). This hut has potable water in the sinks in the back toward the resting area. Fill up your camelbacks or water bottles, but if you’ve gotten this far, the bulk of the climbing has already been done.
From here, you can either take a trail that goes around the peak of Nanatsuhisan or you can go through it. I avoided the peak on the way to Kumotori, but took the Nanatsuhisan route on the way back (FYI it’s not that great and there’s a lot of climbing, so don’t feel too bad about skipping it).
In about 2 more hours, you’ll get to the peak of Kumotori. The view was hazy in the summer afternoon when I was there, so I wasn’t particularly impressed. There are a few areas where you can pitch a tent on the way if you feel like you want to camp overnight. After a rest and refueling at the top I returned the same way I came, except I went around to Nanatsuhisan and down to the hut.
On the way back, I couldn’t believe that I saw trail runners. I can appreciate trail running, I trail run myself, but who would be so masochistic as to trail run here?
Starting on the hike I was concerned about time so I really burned through most of the ascent. Returning with plenty of daylight I had the opportunity to take a closer look at things. There was a Japanese man who spoke a little English that wanted to practice with me while I was resting at the hut. This is welcomed, because it also gives me a chance to practice some of the limited Japanese vocabulary I have. Always try to communicate with whomever is willing, you might learn something.
There was a section of fallen timber about 30 minutes away from the parking lot and I found this area very interesting. Moss on the trees, fungi converting material back to soil, and sunlight peaking through the conifers. How did these trees fall? Avalanche, mudslide? Maybe they all just got tired. I was tired, but my car was only a short distance away.