Hiking in Japan

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Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, about seventy percent of Japan is mountainous. Topographically rich land offers a variety of scenic attractions, such as mountain ranges, volcanoes, valleys, lakes, rivers, and hot springs. Explore the natural beauty of Japan by hiking with local guides. The signs on hiking paths are often written only in Japanese, so privately guided tours are strongly recommended for your safety. Here are our recommended hiking areas.

Shiretoko National Park (Eastern Hokkaido)


Located in eastern Hokkaido, Shiretoko Peninsula surrounded by Okhotsuk Sea boasts an unique ecosystem. In 2005, Shiretoko Peninsula was registered as UNESCO's natural heritage site. The site has particular impotance for a number of marine and terrestrial species. Enjoy trekking to picturesque Five Lakes and Mt. Rausu, the highest peak of Shiretoko mountain range. You may encounter wild bears, fox, ojirowashi white-tailed eagles, kumagera woodpeckers and more in the Japan's last frontier.

Mt. Mitake & Mt. Takao (Tokyo)


Experience Tokyo's mountain side only 1.5 hours away from city centre.

In 2008, Mt. Takao marked three stars in the Michelin Travel Guide. This mounain has been the center of mountain worship for more than 1000 years. Visiting Yakuoin shrine near the mountain's top is a very popular hiking route. There are 6 more hiking paths surrounded by cypress woods.

Mt. Mitake is one of the most important holy grounds near Tokyo. Musashi Mitake Shrine on the top of the mountain has been the center of mountain worship for more than 2000 years. Along the way, you may encounter some practitioners in the middle of ascetic training in the waterfalls. Staying overnight at an established monastery which serves traditional shojin vegetarian cuisine will be a memorable experience. Please see our private tour to a sacred mountain in Tokyo.

At Mt. Takao and Mt. Mitake, visitors can take a ropeway ride or hike through the whole route depending on your condition.

Mt. Fuji


Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain of Japan with 3776 meters, is a mountain which every Japanese wishes to climb once in a lifetime. The climbing season is from July 1st to August 31. Recommended hiking schedule is to take 2 days for climbing up to the top and descending. On the first day, stay at a mountain hut with simple facilities on 7th or 8th stations. Early next morning when it is still dark, start climbing up and see the beautiful sunrise. If you are still energetic, enjoy ohachi meguri, walking around the crater at the top of the mountain. Sending a postcard from the post office of Mt. Fuji will be a fun experience.

Kamikochi National Park (Nagano)


Located in Nagano prefecture, Kamikochi has been considered one of the most popular mountain resorts in Japan. The area is only open for tourists from the end of April to November for natural conservation. In the beginning of 1900's, preservation of natu such as ban on collections of wild plants, hunting and fishing started, which leads to the establishment of Kamikochi National Park. Visit Taishoike pond located in front of Hodaka Mountain range, and walk on a picturesque path along Azusa River. There are some historical mountain resort hotels in the park. It is also possible to make a day trip from Takayama or Matsumoto.

Nakasendo Highway (Nagano & Gifu)


Nakasendo Highway situated aong Kiso Valley in Nagano was established during Edo period in early 17th century. Since this was a very imporant road that connected Edo and Kyoto, and travelers made their trip on foot, 11 post towns developed along Nakasedo. Visit beautifully-preserved post towns such as Tsumago and Magome by walking. Villages, mountains, farms are complete reminiscents of the old Japan. Enjoy stopping by at wooden craft shops, traditional cafés, local restaurants on the path, and stay at a historical hatago (simple inns for travelers) in the post towns.

Yakushima (Kagoshima)


Registered as UNESCO's natural heritage site, Yakushima island is located off the southern coast of Kagoshima prefecture. The island has an unique climate which covers from subfrigid to semitropic zones, and offers different kinds of hiking courses. Enjoy trekking in the pristine woods of Yakusugi cedar which are estimated to be over 1000 years old. If you are serious mountain hikers, visit Jomon Sugi, which is believed to be one of the largest and oldest trees in the world. Also, there is a mountain range including Mt. Miyanoura which is the highest peak of Kyushu.

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