Friday, 7th August 2015
In General Japan News,
Japan's hiking boom leads to well-maintained routes
Japan has undergone something of a boom in terms of hiking in recent years and it's hardly surprising as the country is home to some stunning scenery, not least its towering mountains. This in turn has led to a series of well-maintained and properly signposted routes that can be tackled by those visiting the nation.
A recent article in The Guardian highlighted some of these walks, bringing even more attention to what is fast becoming a popular pastime in Japan. What's more, August until early November is the best time to go hiking in this part of the world. Read on if you fancy adding a hike to your in-country itinerary.
Hokkaido's Mount Asahi
People may recognise the name Asahi from the famous Japanese beer, but if you want to conquer more than just a bottle of the beverage, head to its namesake mountain. It can be found in the Daisetsuzan National Park on the northern island of Hokkaido and the stunning volcanic wilderness spreads out in front of those who scale its peak.
Akita-Yamagata's Mount Chokai
When it comes to impressive scenery, things don't get much better than that which is available in the vicinity of Mount Chokai. The altitude means there are snowfields all year round, which are offset with picture postcard lakes and wild flowers in certain seasons. It is located on the main island of Honshu and requires a little more endurance and skill than the first hike.
Kagoshima's Mount Kaimon
Heading to Mount Kaimon on a day trip from the city of Kagoshima is a no brainer and hiking the peak is a pleasant and not too challenging activity. Being able to look out across the sea from this spectacular dormant volcano is a definite bonus, while the chance to soak weary limbs at a nearby onsen, or hot springs, after your descent makes the prospect even more tempting.
Shuizuoka's Mount Fuji
Undeniably the most iconic mountain in the whole of Japan, Mount Fuji provides the perfect backdrop to many a photo taken in the country. Go one step further and scale its heights of 3,776 metres. Be prepared for cold conditions and altitude sickness, but for those who make it, the trek is well worth the views. A popular approach is to climb to one of the mountain huts and stay overnight before getting up in the early hours to see the sunrise from the summit of Japan's highest mountain.
Toyama's Mount Tsurugi
If your love for hiking goes further than just adding a day's walk to your itinerary, then think about taking on Mount Tsurugi. This is one of the hardest climbs in the whole of Japan as the northern Alpine peak is jagging and a little unwelcoming to the inexperienced. For those who are initiated in the world of hiking, this is a beast that must surely be conquered, so set aside two or three days to do so.
Nagano's Mount Oku-Hotaka
The picturesque scene that unfolds at the base of Mount Oku-Hotaka includes a quaint Alpine village, the Kappa Bridge and the jagged rocks of the peak behind. It is fairly common for visitors to come and photograph the area, but few make it up the relatively difficult climb to the top of the mountain. Be in the minority and spend two days hiking up Mount Oku-Hotaka, through forests and meandering paths, as well as some steep ascents.