permission required - cover image

Permission required to hike Japanese mountains?

You don’t have to ask permissions to hike Japanese mountains. But there are some requirements by law depending on its season (especially winter) and area.

Basic Rule: You need to let local police know about your hiking plan

As a general rule, a local police (same prefecture’s police with the mountain where you plan to go. if the mountain across more than two prefectures, either police is possible.) ask all hikers to submit your hiking plan to them.
A hiking plan is called “Tozan Todoke”(登山届) or “Tozan Keikakusho”(登山計画書) in Japanese but there is no unified name in English. For example;

  • Trekking Itinerary – Nagano prefecture
  • Climbing Plan – Yamanashi prefecture, Hokkaido
  • Mountain Climbing Notification – Gifu prefecture

Therefore, it looks hard to find proper forms by googling. So if you wish to submit this online I recommend you to use Compass, details below.

However, you don’t have to worry about it. You will be able to submit it at the most of the major trailhead.

Is a form allowed only issued by the local police?

No, it’s not. You can use any forms that has proper items such as your name, address, phone number, emergency contact, equipments, route, where to stay and so on.

However, the form which was issued by the local police must be the best.

collaboration hiking plan shieet

This is a collaboration Climbing Plan Sheet with “Yama-to-Shokuyoku-to-Wtashi” for dayhiking.
“Yama-to-Shokuyoku-to-Wtashi” means “Mountain, appetite and I” that is popular as a hiking related comic in Japan.
See details at Collaboration Site

The area where you must submit your plan required by regulations

It’s few but some major area requires all hikers to submit hiking plan by prefectural ordinance.

PrefectureRegulationsAreaPeriod
Gunma群馬県谷川岳遭難防止条例a part of Tanigawa-dake1st March – 30th Nov
Niigata新潟焼山における火山災害による遭難の防止に関する条例within 2km radius of the summit of Yake-yamaalways
Toyama富山県登山届出条例Tsurugi-dakealways
Nagano長野県登山安全条例Most of the major mountains located in Nagano.
– Northern Japanese Alps
– Central Japanese Alps
– Southern Japanese Alps
– Ontake-san
– Yatsuga-take and so on
always
Gifu岐阜県北アルプス地区及び活火山地区における山岳遭難の防止に関する条例Most of the major high mountains located in GIfu.
– Northern Japanese Alps
– Ontake-san
– Haku-san
always

How can I submit my hiking plan?

There are a lot of ways to submit your plan. Most of local police accepts by mail, fax, e-mail and online form. In addition, even some other hiking related websites accepte your hiking plan instead of the local police. They just receive your plan, then they transfer to the proper local police. You don’t have to confirm which local police is appropriate.

Anyway, the most popular and common way to submit your hiking plan is to submit at the trailhead. Most of major trailhead have a small post with a printed sheet and pencil. You just fill out your name, address, phone number, equipment and plan (route and the place of stay if it’s not day hiking) then post it into the box. Some area requires not only when you start hiking but also finished hiking. You can find it on the sheet or at that place.

However, you must be careful because some trailhead posts don’t have enough sheets or has sheets that is written only in Japanese. In order to avoid such a situation, you may submit it from the online form or submit it at “Compass”.

Shin-Hotaka tourist office

This is a tourist office located at Shin-Hotaka where is a geteway of Northern Japanese Alps.
This is one of the biggest office for submitting your hiking plan.

sample of the post for submitting hiking plan

This type of post is common. You can find a kind of this on the trailhead.

About “Compass”

Compass is a website that is operated by the Japan Mountain Guide Association and so on. You can submit your hiking plan at Planning form in English.

compass screenshot

You can make a plan from a map easily.

Why do I have to submit my hiking plan?

If you won’t go back to your home and your family call to the police, that police would start from looking for your hiking plan. If you submitted it, the police would start searching for you according your hiking plan. However, if you didn’t submit it, the police had to start searching very widely. Of course, the cost must be higher in that case, but the most important thing is the hope of finding you becomes lower.

Therefore, I strongly recommend you to submit your hiking plan.

Conclusion

  • You don’t have to ask permissions to hike any Japanese mountains.
  • You have to submit your hiking plan when you hike in specific area, especially in Japanese Alps.
  • You had better submit your hiking plan for your safety when you hike any mountain.
  • You can submit your hiking plan at online and/or the major trailhead.

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