i am planning a hiking trip in late November, preferably in the Japanese Alps between 15-20 November.
We are experienced hikers. I understand it’ll start snowing in mid November.
1) Do you have recommendations for hikes going up to around the 2000-2500m altitude range?
preferably without the need for crampons and snow shoes.
2) please recommend the huts/lodges that are still open till around 20 November along those routes.
Most of the Japanese Alps will already have snow by mid-November and most lodges close by late October to early November, but there are some mountains in the 2,000-2,500-meter range that should be accessible at that time. See the following mountains:
Mt. Maekakeyama 2,524m (Saku City)
Course time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Start/End Point: Asama Sanso
Access: 25 minutes by taxi from Komoro Station. (Shuttle bus available for Asama Sanso guests)
Link: Yamareco (Japanese)
Mt. Azumaya 2,354m (Sugadaira, Ueda City)
Course Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
Start/End Point: Sugadaira Bokujo Tozanguchi
Access: Take the Sugadaira Kogen Bus from Ueda Station (上田駅) to the Davos bus stop (ダボス, 55 minutes), then walk 50 minutes to the trailhead/Sugadaira Bokujo Parking Lot.
Link: Hiking in Japan | Mt. Azumaya
Mt. Tateshina 2,530m (Chino City)
Course Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Start/End Point: Tateshina Tozanguchi
Access: 36 minutes by taxi from Chino Station. (Bus available during green season until 10/27)
Link: Hiking in Japan | Mt. Tateshina
Mt. Amakazari 1,963m
Course Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
Start/End Point: Amakazari-so
Access: From Nakatsuchi Station (中土駅), take the Tsugaike Kogen–Amakazari Kogen bus to Amakazari Kogen (雨飾高原, 32 minutes). Walk 3 minutes to Amakazari-so and begin hike from there.
Link: Best Hike Japan | Mt. Amakazari
Let me know if you have any other questions!