Great Japanese mountains other than Mt. Fuji!

富士山だけでじゃない!  登山するなら、色彩豊かな日本の山がいい!

27/12/2018 Writter: Hideki Motosue
serials mountains

3 Mountain Lodges for New Year’s Eve and the First Sunrise of 2019

Although I prefer to go on day trips, I do enjoy staying the night of December 31st in a mountain hut and taking part in the tradition of “hatsuhinode” or seeing the first sunrise of the year on the 1st of January. There is something magical about spending the last hours of the old year and the first hours of the new year near the top of a mountain. In addition to the special year end food and drinks, seeing a beautiful sunrise is a great way to start the new year. The weather is usually excellent in this season, despite being cold, so you can also get in two days of solid hiking.

Here are three places which I recommend for doing hatsuhinode, with their pros and cons:

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Great nature is just 1 hour away from Shinjuku! Enjoy a day trip hiking at “Mt. Takaosan”


We hiked Mt. Takaosan during the winter! Taking a train crowded with people who go to school and work, we arrived at Mt. Takaosan in just 1 hour from Shinjuku Station. Mt. Takaosan has become popular as a destination that can easily be accessed from the center of Tokyo and is an easy hike for beginners. Team Tadaima Japan went to try this hike up Mt. Takaosan on a weekday with great weather when the autumn foliage was nearing it’s end. There are several trails leading to the top and we chose #6 along the swamp. Off to the hike! Great scenery was waiting for us in just one hour […]

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Start from Mitsumine Shrine! Let’s hike up “Myohoga-dake” mountain, full of spiritual energy that cleanses your mind and body.

Why not hike up the mountain after visiting Mitsumine Shrine? We had previously introduced the Mitsumine Shrine in Chichibu. If you have time, we recommend that you to go deeper in the mountain and visit the rearmost shrine at the top of Myohoga-dake peak (elev. 1329 meters). As you hike along the route leading to Mt. Kumotoriyama you’ll see souvenir shops. After passing the avenue of cedars, you’ll see the first gateway (Torii). Your hiking will start from that point on. < p class=”mgB20″> The further you ascend, the more energy you’ll feel. It takes about 1 hour to get to the rearmost shrine, so you should be prepared for […]

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A wizard’s habitat. Heart-warming Mt. Furousan, where you can encounter the local people’s love for it.

The starting point of the mountain is related to the Kintaro story Oyama-cho, located at the base of Mt. furousan where the Kintoki-Shrine is located, enshrines the Japanese folklore hero, Kintaro. There’s a stone monument in the entrance that says, “Wake up for hope in the morning, work lively in the afternoon, and sleep with gratitude at night.” It literally expresses how you should live happily and gratefully every day, resembling Kintaro’s boyhood in Oyama-cho. He grew up here with the care of his mother and loved to play sumo with bears. When you walk around Oyama-cho, Kintaro’s spirit welcomes you everywhere. These colorful and unique signs are very arty! […]

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Water and green woven beauty! “The Oirase-keiryu” mountain stream.

Now is the best season to visit Oirase-keiryu. The River Oirase flows from lake Towada, located between Aomori Prefecture and Akita Prefecture. The area known as Oirase-keiryu, starts at Konoguchi and continues to Mt. Yakeyama. This area is designated as a natural monument and a place of special scenic beauty. The abundance of nature, beech trees, and the stream of water with its interestingly shaped rocks entertain people throughout the season. The promenades and roads are paved, so you can either trek through or drive through and enjoy the special scenery. The best season to visit is during autumn, but I also recommend visiting during May and June. The vivid […]

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A 10 min walk way from the top of Mt. Shiroumadake! Enjoy the best scenery around the ”Hakuba mountain villa”!

You can view the best scenery at Hakuba mountain villa! My son and I went up to Mt. Shiroumadake, which is popular among climbers. We were blessed with good weather and it was the best day to hike! We really enjoyed the special time with beautiful scenery. Today, I’d like to introduce my favorite villa where we stayed. It is called “Hakuba-sanso” or Hakuba villa and is located right under Mt. Shiroumadake, one of the 45 best Japanese mountains. Alpine plants bloom around the villa and it’s a great place to see the Northern Alpine. They have three different villas. It is one of the largest villas’ can hold more […]

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I hiked up ”Mitsutouge”, where you can get a variety of views of Mt. Fuji!(Yamanashi Pref.)


Mitsutouge is the best observation platform. I hiked up “Mt. Mitsutouge, considered one of the best Japanese mountains for autumn foliage, and got a nice view of Mt. Fuji! The peaks of Mt. Kaiun(1785m), Mt. Osutaka(1775m), and Mt. Kinashi(1732m) are considered parts of Mt. Mitsutouge. These peaks are great for getting perfect views of Mt. Fuji. The mountain path is not too steep, so it’s a good walk for catching some nice red autumn foliage! This mountain appeared in the animation, “Yamanosusume” where female high school students hike and is popular among anime fans. There are three routes. One starts from the Fuji Express, Otsuki Line at Mitsutouge station. Another […]

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Miyajima is not just Itsukushima Shrine! We hiked up to spiritual, Mt. Misen! (Hiroshima)

Mt. Misen

Mt. Misen is one place of Myajima with mystical energy. Itsukushima Shrine is considered one of the best three sceneries in Japan and is designated as a world heritage site. However, there is one more thing to see in Miyajima. It’s Mt. Misen, also called the“place of wonder”, or the“hokey ground for lovers”. The mountain was founded by Koubou Daishi (the founder of the Shongon sect) about 1,200 years ago. We hiked up Mt. Misen to seek mystical energy flowing from Miyajima! You can either hike or take a ropeway! There are two ways to get to the Mt. Misen, one is hiking and the other is using the ropeway. […]

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We hiked up Mt. Takamisan, a popular site along Shimanami Kaido!

Mt. Takamisan

We went for a drive via Shimanami Kaido. We drove Shimanami Kaido from Onomichi by rental car. Our journey began on Muko-jima Island. The Shimanami Kaido starts from Onomichi in Hiroshima, and stretches to Imabari in Ehime Prefecture, via Muko-jima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Oomishima, Hakatajima, and Ooshima islands. The bridge is about 70 kilometers long. Each island along the way is very beautiful, giving the bridge it’s name, “the bridge museum”. This is the slim, yet stylish Ikuchibashi that connects Innoshima and Ikuchijima. The view is superb when it’s sunny! You can view sunset and sunrise! Even though we were a little bit lost, we managed to get to the top […]

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Nokogiri-yama and its colossal colossal Buddha statue

Let’s take a train from Tokyo! Mt. Nokogiri-yama in Chiba Prefecture is one of the most natural places you can find within an easy day trip from Tokyo and many Japanese people don’t even know about it. Taking approximately 2 hours from Tokyo Station to Kanaya Station on the JR Uchibo Line, the scenery from the train window changes from a cityscape to a natural landscape with a view of the ocean. Standing on the scary narrow cliffs! After transferring to Mt. Nokogiri-yama Ropeway, it takes only 4 minutes to reach the top of the mountain. From there you may walk the grounds of Nihon-ji Temple. The breathtaking “Jigoku Nozoki […]

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Mystical “Kagami-ike” will astonish you!


The beauty of Mt. Togakushi created by nature. The name, Kagami-ike, or “Mirror Lake” explains everything. The lake shows a Beautiful reflection of Mt. Togakushi and the blue sky. Because of it’s remote location, you might feel that you’re in another world. Why is this scenery so beautiful? There are several reasons. One factor is that the water is a bit muddy. If the water is too clear it doesn’t reflect light, but rather absorbs it. The artificial pond surrounding Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto is purposely muddy, so that it shows a beautiful reflection of the temple. The 2,000 year-old Togakushi Shrine is located near the lake. I’ll write about […]

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Mount Aso

The Castle Road in the Sky

Stunning scenery that can be seen during the day and into the evening In the morning you can view the sunrise in the sea clouds, if you’re lucky. You can also see the sky, full of stars at night after the sun sets. To see the sea clouds, it needs to the perfect combination of climate conditions, along with a great difference in temperature from the daytime into the evening. If your unable to witness the sea clouds, you can always get a great view of the city and mountains from this area. The golden Castle road in the Sky The area becomes golden around sunrise. You might be able […]

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【AUTUMN】Gunma prefecture: “Kakumanbuchi” has beautiful scenery filled with trees and a marsh in its mountain area.


Enjoy the autumn foliage in a small marshland. This small marshland, Kakumanbuchi is located at Mt. Akagi (elev. 1360-meters) in Gunma Prefecture. The best time to see autumn foliage has arrived. Kakumanbuchi is a small marsh about 1-kilometer in circumference and its promenade is fully furbished, so you can enjoy a 30-minute hike. The best season for autumn foliage is the middle of October because the marsh is located at such a high elevation. “Oze” is a very large and famous marshland Japan and Kakumanbuchi is sometimes referred to as, “little Oze”. The gradation of yellow colored grass is beautiful. Red autumn foliage cannot be seen here, but the other […]

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