After not being able to summit Yatsugatake, I headed for Mizugaki and Kinpu, May 8-9, 2017. You can access both peaks from one trail head, and there are a couple places to park. I parked at 35.878263,138.580107 because it was a little more peaceful than the one at 35.896244,138.573433. They both have toilets too although the ones at the other parking lot were cleaner.
From the parking lot its about 30-45 minutes to Fujimidaira Hut, which is the junction for Mizugaki and Kinpu (also Kobushi if you’ve got a couple days). I did Kinpu first. When I went, it was the 2nd week in May, and almost the entire trail was clear of snow except for the ridge over to Kinpu, which had a few compacted and icy sections so crampons are recommended if you go early in the season.
Other than the icy sections, the trail to Kinpu is straightforward. There are a couple sections with chains, but for adults it shouldn’t be too difficult. At the top, I met a couple other hikers who came from Kobushi. If its clear, you have good views of the Minami Alps, Fuji, and the Yatsugatake range. It was overcast when I went, but I could still see most of the surrounding area.
I headed back down the same way I came up. An hour or so later, I was back at Fujimidaira Hut, where I turned for the Mizugaki route. Now, a little ways into the trail, I came to a junction. I think that this would’ve been a shortcut if I would’ve taken it from the Kinpu trail, but since I didn’t have a map I didn’t want to risk going the wrong way. But if you have a map and are sure about where this trail goes, you might want to consider it.
There are a couple water crossings on this route. After about an hour on this trail you’ll come to a real steep section with boulders, but most of these boulders you don’t have to climb, just find an easier path around them. At the top was more ice, but there were ropes to help hikers along. The view was nice, but also overcast. You can see the other parking lot from the top.
This hike concluded a 3 day plan to reach the peaks of Kirigamine, Tateshina, Yatsugatake, Kinpu, and Mizugaki. Although I didn’t reach the summit of Yatsugatake, I’d say that 4 Hyakumeizans in 3 days is quite efficient.