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Deep Japan: 7 of the Country’s Best Hikes

If you’re looking for a city escape, or want to really embrace the untouched beauty of Japan, be sure to add a mountain hike to your itinerary. The landscape of the country is incredibly volcanic, which makes for an otherworldly scenery and fertile ground for diverse foliage. Here are just a handful of the nation’s most stunning treks.

Deep Japan: 7 of the Country’s Best Hikes

CONTENTS

  • Kirifuri Kogen

  • Takachiho No Mine

  • Nishizawa Ravine

  • Mt. Takao

  • Dewa Sanzan

  • The Jomonsugi Trail

  • Mt. Fuji

  • Kirifuri Kogen

    Kirifuri Kogen

    Kirifuri Kogen

    Just eight kilometers north of the of beautiful Nikko city is where you’ll find Kisuge-daira, a lush highland nestled on the side of Mt Akanagi. Breathtaking mountain range views, an altitude of 1300-1600 meters and home to the picturesque Kirifuri Falls, a hike around the Kirifuri Kogen is unforgettable. Lush green in summer, dotted with colorful floral displays in spring and awash in fiery shades of red and orange in autumn it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in witnessing Japan’s natural beauty first hand.

    Address
    栃木県日光市所野
    Phone
    0288-22-1525
  • Takachiho No Mine

    Takachiho No Mine

    Takachiho No Mine

    Positioned in the northern corner of Miyazaki Prefecture sits Takachiho, an area rich with mystical history and a stunning mountain called Takachiho-no-mine. Standing at 1574 meters tall, the mountain is a popular hiking destination for those who want to explore the country’s more unique landscape, complete with moon-like volcanic rocks. It may not be the easiest hike, but from the summit, the views of the neighboring city of Miyakonojo and the smoking silhouette of Mt. Sakurajima in the distance make it all worthwhile.

    Takachiho Gorge
    Address
    Miyazaki Pref. Nishiusukiguntakachihochou Mitai Please Shioi
    Phone
  • Nishizawa Ravine

    Nishizawa Ravine

    Nishizawa Ravine

    Yamanashi is home to some of Japan’s most beautiful hikes, making it an excellent day or weekend trip from Tokyo or Chiba. If you only have the time to go on one adventure, make the journey to Nishizawa Ravine. Dotted with waterfalls this looped walking trail is relatively quiet, incredibly picturesque and easy for casual hikers too. About 10 kilometers in total, the hike takes between three to five hours and is less than a two-hour journey from central Tokyo.

    Nishizawa Gorge
    Address
    Yamanashi Prefecture Yamanashi-shi
    Phone
    0553221111
  • Mt. Takao

    Mt. Takao

    Mt. Takao

    Another lush city escape is the ever popular Mt. Takao. Only around 50-minutes from Shinjuku by train it’s one of the more leisurely day trips from the city, but offers some incredible natural scenery, including views of Mt. Fuji on a clear day, an impressive traditional temple and a variety walking paths to explore the mountainside. There is a network of different trails that weave their way up the side of Takao for those of varying hiking levels. The number one hike is the most accessible. Here, autumn is the most beautiful time of the year, but be warned it’s also the most popular.

    Mt. Takao
    Address
    Tokyo Hachioujishi Takaomachi
    Phone
  • Dewa Sanzan

    Dewa Sanzan

    Dewa Sanzan

    Known in English as ‘the three mountains of Dewa’ Dewa Sanzan is a family of three sacred mountains located in Yamagata Prefecture. Each mountain represents a different stage of life; birth (Haguro-san), death (Gas-san) and rebirth (Yudono-san), and each features a shrine at the mountain peak. In winter the mountains are rather inaccessible given Yamagata’s heavy snowfall, however during spring, autumn and summer they’re a popular and stunning hiking destination for both pilgrims and tourists.

    Dewasanzan
    Address
    Yamagata Pref. Tsuruokashi Haguromachitouge Haguroyama
    Phone
    0235624727
  • The Jomonsugi Trail

    The Jomonsugi Trail

    The Jomonsugi Trail

    This trail is named after Yakushima’s favorite attraction, Jomonsugui, a wide cedar tree that’s estimated to be somewhere between 2000-7200 years old. Dating all the way back to the Jomon period, and discovered by loggers in the Edo-period, today hikers, adventurers, and tourists make the pilgrimage to the top of Miyanoura mountain to marvel at this time-defying phenomena.

    Jomon Sugi
    Address
    Kagoshima Prefecture Kumage-gun Yakushima-cho
    Phone
  • Mt. Fuji

    Mt. Fuji

    Mt. Fuji

    There’s little to say about Mt Fuji, that hasn’t been recited time and time before. In the warmer months Mt. Fuji is a popular hiking route for countless visitors who often make the overnight journey to the top to admire the unforgettable view of the sunrise. Sitting at 3776 meters, it’s Japan’s highest mountain peak and is inhabitable in the colder months. If you do plan climbing it’s worth noting that the main trails the Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya Trails only open between July and September.

    Mt. Fuji
    Address
    Yamanashi / Shizuoka prefecture
    Phone
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