Akaishi Mountains

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Akaishi Mountains
Southern Alps (南アルプス)
Mount Kita from Mount Komatsu 1997-1-1.jpg
Akaishi Mountains ( Mount Kita and Mount Aino )
from Mount Komatsu
Highest point
PeakMount Kita
Elevation3,193 m (10,476 ft)
Coordinates35°40′16″N 138°14′31.3″E / 35.67111°N 138.242028°E / 35.67111; 138.242028
Length120 km (75 mi)
Width40 km (25 mi)
Native name赤石山脈 (Japanese)
PrefecturesNagano, Yamanashi and Shizuoka
Range coordinates35°40.5′N 138°2.6′E / 35.6750°N 138.0433°E / 35.6750; 138.0433
Parent rangeJapanese Alps

The Akaishi Mountains (赤石山脈, Akaishi Sanmyaku) are a mountain range in central Honshū, Japan, bordering Nagano, Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures. It is also called the Southern Alps (南アルプス, Minami Arupusu), as it joins with the Hida Mountains ("Northern Alps") and the Kiso Mountains ("Central Alps") to form the Japanese Alps.

Origin of the name[edit]

There are a lot of red stones (赤石 Aka-Ishi) around the Akaishi River, a tributary of the Ōi River in the southern part of Southern Alps. Then it was said that the mountain of red stone came to be called Mount Akaishi. The mountain represents the mountain range and the name Akaishi is used for the whole range mountain range, Akaishi Mountains.[1]

Major peaks[edit]

Almost all major peaks of the Akaishi Mountains are in Minami Alps National Park that was established on June 1, 1964.[2] The range is the source of two rivers, Ōi River and Tenryū River, which flow to the Pacific Ocean.

Scenery of Akaishi Mountains seen from Mount Ena in early winter
Major Peaks of Akaishi Mountains
Image Mountain Height Note
Mount Houousan from Kitadake 2001-10-3.jpg Mt. Hōō 2,840 m (9,318 ft) 100 Famous
Kaikoma7.JPG Mt. Nokogiri 2,685 m (8,809 ft) 200 Famous
Mount Kaikomagatake from Jizodake 2010-10-15.jpg Mt. Kaikoma 2,967 m (9,734 ft) 100 Famous
17 Senjyogatake from Kosenjyogatake 1999-7-25.jpg Mt. Senjō 3,033 m (9,951 ft) 100 Famous
Mount Kita from Kosenjo 1996-12-31.jpg Mt. Kita 3,193 m (10,476 ft) the highest mountain
in Akaishi Mountains
100 Famous
Mount Aino fom Mount Kita 1995-7-30.jpg Mt. Aino 3,190 m (10,466 ft)[3] 100 Famous
Noutoridake from ainodake 1996 7 29.jpg Mt. Nōtori 3,026 m (9,928 ft) 200 Famous
16 Shiomidake from Eboshidake 1999-11-5.jpg Mt. Shiomi 3,047 m (9,997 ft) 100 Famous
06 Warusawadake from Kogochidake 1999-11-5.jpg Mt. Warusawa 3,141 m (10,305 ft) 100 Famous
07 Akaishidake from Hijiridake 2001-9-25.jpg Mt. Akaishi 3,120 m (10,236 ft) 100 Famous
21 Hijiridake from Minamidake 1996-11-16.jpg Mt. Hijiri 3,013 m (9,885 ft) 100 Famous
Tekaridake and ikeguchidake from ikohijiridake 2002 11 6.jpg Mt. Tekari 2,591 m (8,501 ft) 100 Famous


Yatsugatake and Akaishi Mountains from Mt.Utsugidake.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Alpine plants, such as Siberian dwarf pine can be seen above the tree line. Rock ptarmigan and spotted nutcracker also live in the alpine zone. Japanese serow and sika deer live in the forest belt on the mountain slopes. Callianthemum hondoense (北岳草, Kitadake-sō) is endemic to Mount Kita.

Walter Weston in the Japanese Alps[edit]

Englishman Walter Weston introduced the Western world to the Japanese Alps in his book Mountaineering and Exploring in the Japanese Alps. During his visits to Japan, he climbed Akaishi Mountains. Several monuments in his memory have been set up in several places in the Japanese Alps.

He climbed the following peaks:

  • 1892 Mount Akaishi - The first non-Japanese to climb this mountain
  • 1902 Mount Kita
  • 1903 Mount Kaikoma
  • 1904 Mount Hōō and Mount Senjō

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Name dictionary of Japanese Mountain (日本山名辞典), Shōbunsya(昭文社) in 1992, ISBN 4-385-15403-1, P4
  2. ^ Minami Alps National Park Archived 2011-03-22 at the Wayback Machine(home page of the Ministry of the Environment)
  3. ^ "標高値を改定する山岳一覧" (PDF). Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 June 2021. Retrieved 11 February 2023.


  • Mountaineering and Exploring in the Japanese Alps -by Walter Weston (1896)

External links[edit]