Hiking in Japan

Contents

18/03/2020 Buddhism & Shinto  Visit: Temples & Shrines

One-Day Hiking in the Heart of Tokushima Along the Shikoku Pilgrimage

When I think of Shikoku, the first thing that comes to mind is the old pilgrimage route that circles the island. I had been to this part of Japan twice, but I had never walked any part of it, let alone visit any of the 88 temples along the way. In January, I went on a short sightseeing trip to Kamiyama Town in Tokushima. Since the pilgrimage trail passes through this town, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try one of Shikoku Island’s most famous activities.

Read More

07/01/2020 Activities  Visit: Parks & Nature

Experience the Outdoors with Kanto Adventures

A few years ago, I got interested in winter mountaineering, so a friend of mine recommended Kanto Adventures, an outdoor experience adventure company started by David Niehoff. In January, he was organising an “Introduction to Snow Mountaineering” on Yatsugatake. The two-day course would include an ascension of the highest peak, Mt Akadake (2899m). This was a great opportunity to get the skills I wanted, but at the same time it seemed like a big step-up from my usual hiking below the snow-line.

Fast forward to the present time: I recently met up with David to catch up and talk about himself, his company and the Japanese mountains. He was waiting at our meeting spot with a bulging backpack. “Food for six people for three days. After our chat, I’m heading to Haneda airport, and then to Yakushima for a trek across the island,” he explained in response to my puzzled look.

Read More

27/12/2018 Activities  Traditions & History  Visit: Parks & Nature

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

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:

Read More

22/11/2019 Travel Tips  Visit: Parks & Nature

6 Tips for Planning Your Hike in Japan

Autumn is probably the best time of the year to go hiking in Japan: the weather is usually clear and the leaves are beautiful. However, with a dizzying number of mountains and hiking trails, and a complex public transportation system, it’s not easy to figure out where to go, and how to get there – and back. I’m often asked how to get started with hiking, so here are six tips on how to plan your first hike, and hopefully many others!

Read More

03/10/2018 Visit: Parks & Nature

Autumn Adventures: The Fall Colors of Lake Okutama

You may be familiar with Mt. Takao, the closest and easiest hike near Tokyo. If you’ve experienced all that Mt. Takao has to offer, it’s time to go deeper into the mountainous Okutama region. A mere 90-minute train ride from Shinjuku Station, Lake Okutama is an accessible escape into nature with scenery and activities that everyone can enjoy.

Read More

26/07/2019 Visit: Parks & Nature

Akigawa Valley: Waterfalls, Local Food & Hot Springs in Tokyo’s Countryside

If you are looking for a short excursion outside the big city, how about going on a daytrip to the Akigawa valley? This little-known area West of Tokyo will surprise the intrepid traveler with its natural and culinary wonders.

Read More

20/08/2018 Sports & Martial Arts  Travel Tips  Visit: Parks & Nature

10 Tips for Climbing Mt Fuji

The official Mt Fuji climbing season only lasts two months a year. From early July to early September, you can safely climb to the top of Japan’s highest peak, 3776m high! If you’ve been mulling it over, but not quite sure where to begin with your preparations, here are 10 simple tips to get you started.

Read More

02/07/2019 Visit: Parks & Nature

Hiking and Trekking in the Japan Alps: an Interview with Wes Lang

If you still haven’t decided what to do this summer in Japan, how about a trek in the Japan Alps? With the rainy season ending soon, and hot and humid weather scheduled to take its place, the higher and cooler elevations of the Northern, Central and Southern Alps are the ideal place to spend an outdoor vacation. A new guidebook to the Japan Alps, with up-to-date information, written by two knowledgeable Japan-based hikers, Tom Fay and Wes Lang, will make planning your trek, as well as the trek itself, a whole lot easier.

Read More

02/07/2015 Visit: Parks & Nature

It’s a Thrill to Make a Wish on the “Bridge of dreams”! – Shizuoka’s Hidden Beauties Part 2

The last hidden region of Oigawa. From Senzu station, covered in our previous article,  you can jump on the tram bound for Sumatakyo Onsen, which departs at 1:20 P.M. As we went slowly up to the narrow mountain path, we noticed that traffic got a littler lighter. After 40 minutes of hiking, we reached Sumatakyo, said to be the last hidden region of Oigawa. The virgin forest is 16km long and has a 100-meter difference in elevation. There are some hot spring hotels and souvenir shops surrounded by mountains, so the area is really quiet and the air is really clean. This area sounds as if it’s a legitimately hidden […]

Read More

07/05/2019 Visit: Parks & Nature

5 Adventurous Activities to Enjoy on Hachijojima, the “Hawaii of Japan”

A visit to Hachijojima, an island nearly 300 kilometers south of Tokyo, is the perfect weekend getaway. It’s far enough from the big city to truly escape into nature yet close enough to be thoroughly enjoyed over a three-day weekend. In this article, I’ll explain how to reach the island, introduce the top five activities to do there, and share a sample itinerary.

Read More

23/11/2018 Visit: Parks & Nature

Mt Aoba – Takahama’s Highest Viewpoint

A hike up Mt Aoba offers refreshing nature, breathtaking views, and some thrilling climbing sections between its two peaks. If you’re itching to do an outdoor activity, looking for some great photo opportunities, and have a yearning for some fun rock scrambling, then go no further than Takahama’s highest mountain, located in Fukui prefecture on Japan’s scenic Western coastline.

Read More

30/05/2019 Activities  Visit: Parks & Nature

Discover Japan’s National Parks: Interview with a Picchio Eco Tour Guide

Seeing Japan’s beautiful nature should be a top priority for every visitor. The best way to do this is to drop by one of Japan’s 30 national parks. This experience can be enhanced further by joining a local guided tour. In this article, I’ll introduce Picchio, a company providing nature tours in Japanese and in English inside Japan’s second largest national park, that can be done as a daytrip or an overnight stay from Tokyo.

Read More

25/12/2014 Visit: Parks & Nature

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

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 […]

Read More

01/02/2019 Visit: Parks & Nature

The Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park: Nature and Hiking at Tokyo’s Doorstep

The Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, located just West of Tokyo, is a vast recreational area for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Although hiking is the main attraction of the park, there are numerous sightseeing spots that can be reached via public transport, such as dramatic river gorges, waterfalls and shrines, which will appeal to those looking for a more leisurely day out. If you’re planning a trip to Japan in the spring or the autumn, this is a great place to add to your itinerary.

Read More