Mountains in Japan 日本の山
Mountains in Japan: skiing, hiking and sightseeing
Occupying more than 70% of the territory, mountains in Japan are omnipresent and there are few places from which it is impossible to admire them. For a long time considered as sacred by the Japanese, the mountains are for the most part still little impacted by tourism. Winter sports, hiking, camping... discover all that the Japanese mountains have to offer all year round!
Mountains in Japan in winter
Having hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano , Japan's mountains are unquestionably a prime site for winter sports enthusiasts. On the island of Honshu, it is difficult not to mention the famous Mount Fuji , or the Hida, Kiso and Akaishi mountains , which form the mountain range known as the Japanese Alps.
- Read also: The Japanese Alps
In winter, more than 600 ski resorts open their doors and welcome lovers of powder snow. The practice of skiing in Japan being less popular than in the West, the prices remain generally attractive, and the attendance reasonable.
Here are some examples of domains:
Gala Uzawa (Niigata): has its own shinkansen station .
Nozawa (Nagano): famous for its hot springs, onsen .
Niseko (Hokkaido): the largest ski resort in all of Japan.
One of the peculiarities of the Japanese mountains, and not the least, is the presence of hot springs . There's nothing like relaxing after a long day of skiing or snowshoeing in a hot, or even very hot, bath. Onsen water may contain sulfur, iron, and other minerals believed to have therapeutic properties. In addition to satisfying sports enthusiasts, the Japanese mountains also offer magnificent snowy landscapes.
- Read also: 5 onsen with a view
Mountains in Japan in summer
In summer, the altitude of the Japanese mountains allows you to find a bit of freshness , while at the bottom, the heat is often intense, even stifling in certain regions. If the hot springs remain very popular with travelers despite the heat, the mountains offer a whole range of other activities such as trekking, hiking, visiting volcanoes, climbing, camping, etc.
- Read also : The best hikes in the Japanese Alps
Trekking in Japan: the best hikes to do
It is very difficult to talk about hiking in Japan without mentioning Kamikochi. Located in Chubu Sangaku National Park , the Kamikochi Valley is one of the most beautiful in Japan. Open to visitors from April to November, the valley is full of routes and thus makes it possible to delight the youngest trekkers as well as the most experienced.
- Read also: Kamikochi Valley
The mountains in Japan in Summer
In summer, the altitude of the Japanese mountains allows to find some coolness, while at the foot, the heat is often intense, even suffocating in some regions. If the hot springs remain, in spite of the heat, very appreciated by the travelers, the mountains offer a whole panel of other activities such as trekking, hiking, visiting volcanoes, climbing, camping, etc.
- Read also : The best hikes to do in the Japanese Alps
Trekking in Japan: The best hikes to do
It is very difficult to talk about hiking in Japan without mentioning Kamikôchi. Located in Chubu Sangaku National Park, Kamikochi Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in Japan. Open to visitors from April to November, the valley is full of trails and can be enjoyed by young and experienced trekkers alike.
- Read also : Kamikôchi
Summer is also the most opportune time of the year to undertake the ascent of the famous Mount Fuji, as refuges and facilities are only open two months of the year (from the beginning of July to the end of August).
- Read also : Opening of the Mount Fuji climbing season
Apart from these two very famous spots, hundreds of other paths and mountains will offer you peace and wonder on the island of Honshu:
Mount Takao less than an hour from Tokyo
Mount Koya , Wakayama Prefecture
Mount Yoshino , near Nara
The Kumano Kodo (pilgrimage routes) of the Kii Mountains , on the Kii Peninsula
To the north, on the island of Hokkaido , be sure to explore magnificent places such as Akan National Park , Mount Usu , or even Rishiri Island , in the far north of Japan.
We advise trekking enthusiasts to go to the splendid Daisetsuzan National Park , very famous for its many hiking trails, which rise on average between 1,800 and 2,000 meters. The greatest concentration of trails is around the peaks of Asahi-dake and Tokachi-dake .
- Read also : National parks of Japan
On the island of Kyushu , the famous Mount Aso , a volcano located in a huge caldera, can be discovered during very popular hikes. Remember to find out about its possible eruptions before setting off to discover its summit, which is regularly closed to the public.
Also in Kyushu, the Ebino plateau is home to some marvels such as Mount Karakuni , the ascent of which is magnificent, as well as its crater, but also several volcanic lakes.
Mountain camping in Japan
For cheap accommodation or simply going green, camping in Japan is a solution often overlooked by holidaymakers. However, the archipelago has more than 2000 campsites , free and paid, throughout the country, which allow you to make the most of nature.
The services and their quality vary from one campsite to another. Sites owned by private companies are generally better equipped than those run by local authorities, so you will need to choose the location according to your needs. Note that in Japan, wild camping is absolutely prohibited in the country's national parks.
Trekking, skiing, camping, onsen, climbing, mountain biking, caving… In Japan the mountains are omnipresent, and the activities they offer in summer and winter are only limited by your imagination, take advantage of them!