Mount Norikura

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Mount Norikura
Norikuradake from Kisokomagatake 7th 2007-4-29.JPG
Mount Norikura in spring
from Mount Kisokoma in Kiso Mountains
Elevation 3,025.64 m (9,926.6 ft)[1]
Listing List of mountains in Japan
List of volcanoes in Japan
100 Famous Japanese Mountains
Translation Riding Saddle Peak
Mount Norikura is located in Japan
Mount Norikura
Mount Norikura
Location in Japan
Location Gifu Prefecture
Nagano Prefecture
Range Hida Mountains
Coordinates 36°06′23″N 137°33′13″E / 36.10639°N 137.55361°E / 36.10639; 137.55361Coordinates: 36°06′23″N 137°33′13″E / 36.10639°N 137.55361°E / 36.10639; 137.55361[2]
Topo map Geographical Survey Institute, 25000:1 乗鞍岳, 50000:1 上高地
Type Stratovolcano (active)
Last eruption 50 BCE (?)
First ascent Enkū in 1680's[3]
The view of Akaishi Mountains and Kiso Mountains from Mount Norikura

Mount Norikura (乗鞍岳 Norikura-dake?) is a potentially active volcano located on the borders of Gifu and Nagano prefectures in Japan. It is part of the Hida Mountains and is listed among the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains[4] and the New 100 Famous Japanese Mountains.[5]


The mountain is located on the borders of Gifu and Nagano prefectures in Chūbu-Sangaku National Park.[6] The Norikura Plateau borders the mountain on its northern side in Nagano Prefecture. The mountain, whose name means "riding saddle," received its name because its shape looks like a horse saddle. It is known for being the easiest to climb among the mountains in Japan that are above 3000-meters.


  • 1680's - It is said that Enkū was the first to reach the peak.[3]
  • 1878 - Englishman William Gowland became the first non-Japanese man to reach the peak.[7][8]
  • 1892 - Englishman Walter Weston climbed on the peak.[9][10]
  • December 4, 1934 - This area was specified to the Chūbu-Sangaku National Park.[6]
  • 1973 - Norikura Skyline to the vicinity of the top of a mountain was opened. It is the road that exists in the highest place in Japan.[3]


After Mount Fuji and Mount Ontake, Mount Norikura is the third tallest volcano in Japan. It is a stratovolcano and hardened lava flows can still be seen near the peak. There are eight plains and 12 crater lakes on the mountain that were formed by volcanic activity. The Norikura Skyline is a road through the mountain, but it has to be closed for much of the year because of heavy snow fall. Even in the summer, some snow remains on the northeastern face of the mountain.

Plant and animal life[edit]

Mount Norikura has a variety of plant and animal life on its slopes. In addition to the alpine accentor and martins, the rock ptarmigan (one of Japan's natural monuments) also makes its home on the mountain.

There are various alpine plants and other flowers, including rhododendrons, lilies, and komakusa.

Rock Ptarmigan Alpine Accentor lilies komakusa
Ptarmigan Raicyou Male in kamikouchidake 2003 11 23.jpg Prunella collaris.jpg Fritillaria camschatcensis Kuroyuri in hakusan 2002-7-25.jpg Dicentra peregrina Komakusa in Enzanso 2002-7-27.jpg


Geological features[edit]

Mount Kengamine (剣ヶ峰 Kengamine), one peak on the mountain, was formed in two eruptions 9,600 and 9,200 years ago. Mount Ebisu (恵比寿岳 Ebisu-dake), another peak, was formed during an eruption 2,000 years ago. Though the volcano has lost some of its eruptive power, volcanic gas is still escaping through the Yū River (湯川 Yū-gawa) and there are many spa areas in the surrounding area.

Nearby Mountains[edit]

It is on the main ridge of the Hida Mountains and is in the most south part of it.

The view of Hida Mountains from Mount Norikura
Image Mountain Elevation Distance
from the Top
Hotakadake from Cyogatake 1999-8-1.jpg Mt. Hotaka
3,190 m (10,466 ft) 22.0 km (13.7 mi) • tallest mountain in Hida Mountains
• 100 Famous
Yakedake from Kamikochi 1999-5-22.jpg Mt. Yake
2,455.37 m (8,056 ft) 13.7 km (8.5 mi) • 100 Famous
Norikuradake from Chogatake 2002-7-12.jpg Mt. Norikura
3,025.64 m (9,927 ft)[1] 0 km (0.0 mi) • Kengamine is tallest point in Mount Norikura
100 Famous
Ontakesan and Dinichidake from norikuradake 1998-05-16.jpg Mount Ontake
3,067 m (10,062 ft) 24.6 km (15.3 mi) • 100 Famous

River of source[edit]

The each following River of the source flows to the Sea of Japan or Ise Bay.[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Information inspection service of the Triangulation station". Geospatial Information Authority of Japan,(高山-乗鞍). Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Mountains altitude list in Japan(Gife prefecture)". Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "1000 Japanese Mountains". YAMA-KEI Publishers,ISBN 4-635-09025-6. 1992. 
  4. ^ "100 Famous Japanese Mountains". Kyūya Fukada. The Asahi Shimbun Companyin,ISBN 4-02-260871-4. 1982. 
  5. ^ "New 100 Famous Japanese Mountains". Motoo Iwasaki. YAMA-KEI Publishers,ISBN 4-635-53047-7. 2006. 
  6. ^ a b "Chūbu-Sangaku National Park". Ministry of the Environment (Japan). Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Chronology of the climbing mountain history in Japan". YAMA-KEI Publishers,ISBN 4-635-17814-5. 2005. 
  8. ^ "A Hand book for Travellers in Central and Northern Japan". William Gowland. ,ISBN 4-635-53047-7. 1881. 
  9. ^ "Dictionary of name of Japanese mountain(日本山名辞典)". Sanseido,ISBN 4-385-15403-1. 1992. 
  10. ^ "Mountaineeraing and exploration in Japanese alps". Walter Weston, 1896 (new ed.). translated into Japanese (日本アルプスの登山と探検),Iwanami Shoten, ISBN 4-00-334741-2. 2005. 
  11. ^ "Mountain and plateau map, Norikura Plateau (山と高原地図)". Shobunsha Publications,ISBN 978-4-398-75718-0. 2010.