Gunma Prefecture is located north of Tokyo. It is extremely accessible, with the central city, Takasaki only an hour or two away by Shinkansen bullet train, but it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Kanto region, surrounded by magnificent nature and with seasonal scenery to enjoy. There is a wide range of attractive mountains for everyone from beginners to advanced climbers, some of which are more than 2,000 m high and quite challenging to climb. If you want to film mountaineering scenes in Japan, Gunma is probably the best place to go, considering accessibility. I was in Gunma for a little over two weeks this September for a filming recce, so I will introduce some of the most recommended peaks from the point of view of a fixer.

Mt. Tanigawa

Mt. Tanigawa is a 1,977 m high mountain on the border between Gunma and Niigata prefectures. It is highly popular for its abundant climbing courses, which can be enjoyed by beginners and advanced climbers alike, and for the fact that it can be climbed and hiked as a day trip from the Tokyo metropolitan area. A ropeway is available from the foot of the mountain, making it easy for beginners to hike, but there are many rocky and steep sections that are challenging to climb, so make sure you have the right equipment. This is a good mountain for beginners to step up to. However, it is also known for its severe weather conditions, with the forest limit, which is usually around 2,500-3,000 m, being at a lower altitude of around 1,500 m. The weather can change suddenly in the afternoon, so be sure to check the weather information carefully and make your plans well in advance.
(Mt. Tanigawa Ropeway Contact Information)
Address: Gunma, Tone District, Minakami, Yubiso, Suisan National Forest
Tel: +81 278 72 3575
Round-trip fare: 3,000 JPY (as of November 2023)

Mt. Nikko-Shirane

At 2,576 m above sea level, Mt. Nikko-Shirane is the highest mountain in the Kanto region, where Tokyo is located. It is very popular with beginners and families with children, who can easily enjoy climbing and hiking as there is a ropeway that allows them to gain altitude from the start. Beginners should first try the course between the ropeway station and the summit of Mt. Nikko-Shirane. After an hour or so, the trail becomes clear of trees and the view improves. From the summit you can enjoy a magnificent 360° panorama of the Akaishi Mountains and Mt Fuji. The trail near the summit is a gravel path, so be careful not to fall. If you are physically fit, we recommend a circular course from the summit towards the beautiful cobalt blue waters of Goshikinuma Pounds, past Midagaike Pond and Rokujizo, and then back to the ropeway station.

(Mt. Nikko-Shirane Ropeway Contact Information)
Address: Higashiogawa, Katashina, Tone District, Gunma
Tel: +81 278 58 2211
Round-trip fare: 2,200JPY on weekdays, 2,500JPY on public holidays (as of November 2023).

Mt. Azumaya in winter

In addition to the above two mountains, Gunma Prefecture has many other great mountains such as Mt. Akagi, Mt. Azumaya, Mt. Shibutsu and Mt. Haruna, which I hope to be able to introduce to you at another time. There are so many great attractions I found while working as a fixer in Gunma, so I will write about them in the following articles.

Please read othere articles featuring Gunma.
Gunma Part 1: 2,000m mountains just 1 hour or two from Tokyo
Gunma Part 2: Water, gift from the mountains
Gunma Part 3: Hot Spring Kingdom
Gunma Part 4: Other attractions

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