12 best hikes in Japan you need to experience – only carry-on luggage
I have to admit, when it comes to Japan, most people tend to think (and ours), and the best hikes in Japan are understandably some of the most overlooked parts of most people's visits to the Land of the Rising Sun.
The bright neon lights of Japanese cities have been appealing to visitors all over the world for a long time, and besides perhaps Mount Fuji, most people (especially for us British and our European cousins) have surfaced in Japan with virtually no migration of any kind.
However, most people also show a love (or at least a sense of appreciation) for the Japanese culture. One of the best ways to get a better, uncluttered insight into Japanese culture is to go out of town, lose oneself in nature and essentially undertake "slow journeys" on hikes through Japan.
It does not have to be exhausting or exhausting, there are countless opportunities, and we have put together 12 of the best hikes in Japan you need to do. In no particular order, they are here.
1.) The Fuji
The Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan, with a height of well over 12,000 feet and certainly the most popular! It is also an active volcano and is considered part of the Japanese trilogy of the Holy Mountains.
It is also considered a sacred place, and those who brave the arduous ascent to the summit will surely find many movable shrines built along the way.
Be sure to visit Hakone, a town at the foot of the mountain, which offers hikers along the roadside the opportunity to take a luxurious bath in their hot springs. (It also has a beautiful view of Fuji).
2.) Mount Takao
Located just outside of Tokyo, this is a very popular hike and one of the best hikes in Japan! In fact, it is claimed that Mount Takao attracts the most travelers every year! It's no joke, with millions of visitors a year – this is the most visited mountain in the world.
It is easy to see why, especially with the absolutely magnificent views of the mountain top. The summit is a great place to experience the epic sunsets that frame the summit of Mount Fuji.
If you have little time or small children, you can reach the top of Takao by cable car and not on foot.
3.) Mount Kita
This strenuous hike is one of the best hikes in Japan for the breathtaking panoramic views of Mount Fuji. This mountain itself is no small thing in itself, because it is the second highest mountain in Japan with more than 10,500 feet!
At the summit there are two separate mountain huts that can accommodate up to 150 people. These cabins are a wonderful place to stop and dive in the beauty of Japan's dramatic landscape before beginning your descent to the bottom.
4.) Mount the kaimondake
This dormant volcano is expected to be Fuji of Kyushu (one of Japan's 4 main islands – see more of our trip through Kyushu here) nicknamed the stunning panoramic view of those who expect the moderately arduous ascent to the summit.
The well-marked path is completely free of serpentines (the serpentines for the inexperienced are zig-zag paths, which usually help to protect the path from erosion), making it a unique climb. The view from the crater rim is absolutely spectacular and worth the hike.
5.) Kumano Kodo
Located in the misty mountains of the Kii peninsula, you can walk in the shoes of the ancient Japanese emperors.
Along the way, you will find a wealth of traditional Japanese ryokan, the perfect excuse to rest, relax and enjoy some traditional Japanese food (seriously, you may think you know Japanese food before you arrive, but what we get outside of it Japan is a tiny fraction of what is actually available and eaten throughout the country.
6.) Mountain Hiei
This is a beautiful hiking trail that can also be used by cable car. The moderately strenuous hike offers a beautiful view that offers one of the best views of the city of Osaka, as well as the chance to catch a glimpse of the white snow monkeys roaming the area.
7.) The way of the philosopher
This is an approximately 2 km (ridiculously) light stone path that runs alongside a canal lined with cherry trees.
In spring, when the pink and white flowers are in full bloom (Sakura in Japanese), it is one of the most beautiful hikes you will experience in Japan (however, you are not the only one interested in cherry blossom season in Japan so it could get pretty crowded here).
On the way there are many places where you can enjoy a picnic to enjoy the view.
8.) The Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage
The island of Shikoku is known for its many temples and this more than 1,000 km long and very challenging hike, which takes you on a path around the island and stops at all eighty-eight temples. It really is one of the best hikes in Japan for temple fans.
If you do not have six weeks to complete this journey (understandably), you can always shorten the route considerably by getting on a bus or taxi, or only doing certain sections of the journey. Note, however, that the user has an end to your will. Walk at the same temple you started with.
9.) The Japanese Alps
Located on the main island of Honshu, the Kamikochi Valley is one of the best hikes in the Japanese Alps. Here you will find a number of moderate walks where you can spend most of the day, as well as more technically challenging climbs for those looking for a challenge.
If you are here in autumn and winter, be sure to stop by the Kamikochi Onsen Hotel for a spectacular mountain panorama (you can do it in spring and summer, but I imagine a hot bath on a hot summer day does not have the same appeal ).
10.) Lake Chuzenji
This is a beautiful lake formed by the volcanic explosion of Mount Nantai, stoically located in the background. The trail is about 25 km long and quite moderate, although there are some steep areas.
Known for its vibrant beauty, this is a particularly breathtaking walk in the fall, when the leaves have become gold, red and orange. There are a number of hot springs where you can soak your tired muscles, including the healing waters of Chuzenji Onsen.
11.) Daisetsuzan National Park
Daisetsuzan literally means:Big snowy mountain"A pretty well-deserved name, as this majestic mountain is white for most of the year.
During the short time window, when the snow cover melts, the ascent is absolutely extraordinary, taking you past lush vegetation, active volcanoes and crystal-clear lakes. This is an excellent place to visit if you are just a step away from bustling cities and lose yourself in nature.
End a long day hiking with a long jump in one of the many hot springs, of which there is a big burden in the villages around the park.
This small island south of Kyushu is home to beautiful forests that offer many hiking opportunities. All offer beautiful hiking landscapes.
The deep green of the trees in the woods is enhanced by the strong moss coating, making you feel as if you are a million miles from the civilized world.
While the landscape looks like a fairy tale, the highlight of a visit to Yakushima is the opportunity to see and touch the Yakusugi – the ancient cedars (usually at least 1,000 years old) found in the mountains.
When you finish hiking (or maybe even earlier), there are 16 great things in Japan worth seeing.
16 best things to do in Japan