Hiking in Japan
Less than an hour from central Japan’s capital lies one of the closest nature escapes to the city. Located just north of the JR Chuo Line, the mountain is home to numerous hiking paths, including the popular Mount Takao Trail. This paved path leads visitors through the area’s temples and shrines, offering stunning views of Mount Fuji on a clear day.
The mountain is often packed with tourists during the week, but it can become less busy on weekends. On those days, you might find yourself alone on the trail, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and taking in the view of Mount Fuji.
Located in the mountains of Chichi-bu Tama Kai National Park, Mount Mitake is one of Japan’s most visited tourist spots. As well as being a great place to go hiking, there are plenty of other things to do around the area too. Here’s what you need to know about the mountain.
Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest mountain, is climbed by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. While most climb during the summer months, there are many short hikes available throughout the year. Some of the longer trails require special permits, while others are open to hikers without reservations.
The ancient capital of Japan, Kamakura is one of the most popular destinations around Tokyo. With the beautiful scenery of Mt. Fuji and the sea just outside the city limits, it’s no wonder tourists flock here. But there are many things to do in Kamakura besides simply taking pictures of Mount Fuji. There are plenty of historic sites and museums to see, as well as several walking trails you can take to explore the area. Here are three great ways to spend a day in Kamakura.
#1 – Take a Hike Around the City
If you want to experience the beauty of nature while still being close to the bustling streets of Kamakura, try out one of the city’s hiking trails. These trails wind through the mountainside forests surrounding the city, offering hikers stunning views of the ocean and Mt. Fuji. You can find a list of the best hiking trails in Kamakura on TripAdvisor.
#2 – Visit the Temples and Shrines
Kamakura is home to dozens of Buddhist temples and shrines, including the world-famous Daibutsu Buddha statue. If you don’t know where to start looking for them, check out our guide to the top 10 Buddhist temples in Japan.
#3 – Explore the Artistic Side of Kamakura
There are many interesting art galleries in Kamakura, such as the Sengokuya Museum & Gallery and the Kamakura Municipal Museum of Modern Art. Both offer exhibitions featuring modern Japanese artists, as well as traditional woodblock prints and paintings.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
The Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of Japan’s most famous shrines, located just outside of Kyoto city. There are actually over 2,500 temples within the complex, but the Fushimi Inari shrine is considered the heart of the entire site. This is because it houses the Tori gate system, which is comprised of thousands of vermillion torus shaped gates that lead visitors up the sacred mountain where there is a large statue of Kannon. These gates are incredibly popular among tourists and locals alike, with many people making pilgrimages here every day.
The Daigoji Temple is located in the town of Kameoka in southeast Kyoto Prefecture. It is one of the most famous temples in Japan because it sits at the foot of Mount Hiei, where Prince Shōtoku built his palace in 710 AD.
Today, the temple stands at the base of a steep mountain, surrounded by forests and dotted with small wooden buildings. The main temple complex lies just below the mountaintop and is accessible via a narrow winding path. Those who separate themselves from crowds and make the trek up the mountain are rewarded by wooden halls scattered across the hillside and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Kurama is a small village located in the mountainous region of northern Kyoto Prefecture. For centuries it has been famous for its beautiful scenery, especially during cherry blossom season. In recent years, however, Kurama has become better known for something else: its unique food culture.
In particular, Kurama is home to a number of restaurants serving yakitori – grilled skewers of chicken, beef, pork, seafood or vegetables. These are often served with Japanese style dipping sauces, such as “soy sauce,” “miso,” “mirin” or “shoyu.”
The most popular dishes include “kurobuta no shio” (black bear meat), “chicken karaage” (fried chicken), “takoyaki” (octopus balls), “nabe” (hot pot) and “gyudon” (beef bowls). Many people travel here just to try these specialties.
Located just 30 minutes from the central part of Osaka, Minoo Park offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace and quiet. In addition to being a great place to relax, Minoo Park is home to many beautiful sights, such as the Yoshino River, which runs through the middle of the valley. The river is popular among locals because it attracts plenty of wildlife, including cranes, ducks, geese, swans, fish, turtles, snakes, frogs, and even bears. There are also several hiking trails around the area.
The Yamanobe-no michi Trail is one of Japan’s most famous scenic trails. It stretches over 200 km across the cities of Narai, Takayama, Kamikochi and Gokasho. In addition to being a great place for hikers, the route also offers some fascinating history and culture along the way.
This video gives you a quick overview about the history of the Yamanobe-no Michi Trail, including information about places worth seeing along the way.
The country’s most famous cherry blossoms are found here.
A short walk away from Mount Koya, you’ll find Mt. Yoshino. This is where Japan’s most famous cherry blossoms grow. In springtime, visitors can see thousands of cherry trees blooming along the paths up the mountainside. You can go there on foot, take a bus tour, rent a car, or ride a bicycle.
There are many different routes to follow in the area. One route starts at Kinpusen-ji Temple, which sits atop a hill overlooking the city of Kyoto. From there, it takes about half an hour to reach the peak of Mount Yoshino. On the way, you’ll pass by a number of temples and shrines. There are also some interesting sights along the way like the Hozugawa River Valley, which has been designated a national park.
If you want to make a longer journey, you can start at Mount Koya, one of Japan’s holiest Buddhist sites. At the summit, you’ll find the Koyasan National Park. Here, you’ll find a large forest of Japanese cedar trees. Many pilgrims come to pray here.
You can also climb to the top of Mount Tsurugi, another holy site. There, you’ll find a statue of Buddha.
Akan National Park
Akashi Onsen, located in the heart of the city of Hakodate, is famous for its hot springs, particularly for its mineral water. However, it is also home to many historical sites including the Choshoji Temple and the old castle town.
The area is also known for being the birthplace of the Japanese tea ceremony, having been founded by Sen no Rikyū in 1607. In addition, it is also home of the world’s longest wooden bridge, the Hakodate Railway Bridge.
The region is also famous for its rich culture and history. There are several museums and cultural centers throughout the area, including the Hakodate City Museum of History, the Hakodate Folk Craft Center, the Hakodate Marine Science Museum, the National Museum of Northern Peoples, the Hakodate Castle Ruins, and the Hakodate Art Museum.
In recent years, the area has become increasingly popular among tourists due to its natural beauty and historic charm.
Lake Shikotsuko is located in the city of Abashiri in northeastern Japan. The lake is a volcanic crater formed during the eruption of Mount Tarumae in 1883. The volcano erupted once again in 1992, spewing ash into the sky and forcing evacuations. In 2013, it became the second-most active volcano in Japan.
The lake is surrounded by mountains, including Mount Taruamae, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. Climbers can scale the mountain to the rim of Lake Shikotsuko’s crater and enjoy stunning views out over the surrounding volcanic landscape. The lake is also accessible via a circular route around the crater.
The Shikotsu Toyako National Park is home to the Nishiyama Craters, where Mount Usu erupted violently in 2000. The resulting ash cloud covered much of Hokkaido and caused severe damage throughout the region. As a result of the disaster, the government designated the area a national park, and it now serves as one of Japan’s premier destinations for nature enthusiasts.
Along the Nishiyama CrATER TRAIL, hikers can witness the land that used to be part of Mount Usu. Visitors can see the landscape of abandoned buildings, smoking craters, and volcanic rocks that are scattered across the area. Among the ruins left behind by the volcano lies a small temple, where you can find yourself surrounded by the tranquil beauty of nature.
Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakami Sanchiyo is one of the world’s oldest and largest continuous forest ecosystems. Located along the Sea of Japan coast, it contains some of the highest mountains in Japan. Hiking trails lead visitors to waterfalls, mountain tops and lakes within the area’s beech forests. One of the most popular routes takes hikers to the Anmon Waterfall, where there are three cascading falls.
Three sacred mountains in remote Yamaga Prefecture are home to some of Japan’s most revered Shinto shrines. They include Mount Iwataki, Mount Hiei and Mount Koya. But there’s one mountain that stands out above the rest — Dewa Sanzan. Located just outside the city of Tsuruga, it’s home to the famous Tsurugi Shrine, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The mountain itself is no stranger to climbers. There are several routes up the mountain, including the popular route known as the “Shugendō Route.” This involves climbing along narrow paths cut into the side of the mountain. Climbers must wear full-body white clothing and cover their heads completely. On their way up, they pass numerous small shrines dedicated to gods and goddesses. At the summit, they reach the main shrine, called the Tsurugi Shrine. Here, worshippers offer prayers and make offerings to the god of war.
But while the mountain might be well known among hikers, few people know about another aspect of Dewa Sanzan — the mountain’s connection to Shugendo, the ancient religion practiced by Japanese samurai warriors.
According to legend, a man named Minamoto no Yoshitsune once visited the mountain seeking guidance. He asked the local priestess what he could do to become strong enough to defeat his enemies. She told him to pray to the mountain deity, and offered to perform rituals to help him prepare. After praying, Yoshitsune climbed the mountain and found himself face-to-face with the mountain deity.
Yoshitsune bowed deeply and prayed again. When he looked up, he saw a beautiful young woman standing beside the mountain deity. She smiled down upon him, and beckoned him closer. As she did, her robe fell open, revealing her body. Yoshitsune gasped in surprise and awe, and felt something strange happen inside his heart.
As the story goes, the mountain deity transformed herself into a human form, and gave Yoshitsune a special sword. From then on, the mountain deity became known as the Goddess of War. And according to tradition, anyone who climbs Dewa Sanzan receives divine protection against evil spirits.
Since then, Dewa Sanzan has been considered holy ground, and many believe that climbing the mountain brings good luck. For centuries, temples have been built alongside the mountain, and today, hundreds of priests travel the mountain each week carrying out religious ceremonies.
Oze National Park
Located in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, Oze National Park is home to a large wetland known as the Oze Marshlands. Reaching an elevation of 1400 meters above sea level, the park centers around a large marsh located at an altitude of 1400 m.a.s.l. Visitors can reach the marsh via hiking trails that descend down the surrounding mountain ranges.
Mount Koya is one of Japan’s most sacred mountains; it’s home to numerous temples, shrines and statues. It’s also a major tourist destination, attracting thousands of pilgrims every day. There are several ways to access the mountain, including hiking, climbing, cycling, horseback riding, and even skiing.
The main Koyasan Choshi Michi Trail is a 23.5 km, seven-hour hike, but visitors can reduce the distance by accessing the trail from multiple points along the Nankaido Koya Line. This makes it easier to start early in the morning and reach the peak later in the afternoon.
Rishiri and Rebun
Rebun is one of the most popular destinations in Hokkaido, Japan. With over 10 million visitors per year, it ranks among the world’s leading tourist attractions. Its main drawcard is its natural beauty, especially the stunning views of Mount Fuji and surrounding mountains from the southern part of the island.
The name “Rebun” comes from the Ainu word “rebu,” meaning “the land of the gods.” This translates into English as “land of the spirits.” In ancient times, the island was home to shamans and healers known as “yamabushi.” These people lived in caves located near the summit of Mt. Hiei. Today, many of the original cave dwellings remain, although some have been converted into hotels and restaurants.
There are several ways you can reach the island. You can fly directly there from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, or Hakodate. If you prefer to travel by boat, there are ferries departing from Wakkanai, Nemuro, Shari, Otaru, and Abashiri. There are also cruises departing from Omaezaki, Toyohira, Shibetsu, and Noboribetsu.
You can choose to explore the island independently or join an organized tour. A day trip costs approximately $100 USD. Organized tours include transportation, admission fees, guides, lunch, and snacks. For example, the Rishiri Island Tour includes transportation from your hotel, guided hikes throughout the island, and a full buffet lunch. Prices start at about $150 USD.
If you want to experience the best of both worlds, consider staying overnight at one of the yurts scattered across the island. Each yurt sleeps up to six people and offers a unique view of the landscape. Yurts cost around $200 USD.
The island of Shiretoko lies off the coast of Hokkaido in Japan’s far north. Its name translates to “bear land,” because of the abundance of bears there. But it’s also home to some spectacular natural beauty, including five lakes, hundreds of waterfalls, and even a few active volcanoes.
Shiretoko National Park is known for its rich forests and abundant wildlife, especially bears. In fact, the island is considered the best place in Japan for viewing brown bears. Visitors can see the animals up close during boat trips along the coastline.
But getting to Shiretoko isn’t easy. Most people reach the area by taking a tour bus from Sapporo, spending about four hours on the road. From there, visitors must take a short hike to the park entrance. Once inside, hikers can enjoy the surrounding scenery and spend the night camping out under the stars.
There are many hiking options within the park, but the easiest way to explore is to start at Lake Togakushi. The lake is surrounded by lush green mountains and offers stunning views of Mount Yotei volcano.
After exploring Lake Togakushi, head over to Lake Furukawa, where you’ll find another gorgeous waterfall. Nearby, you’ll find the ruins of a samurai castle built in the Edo Period.
From here, it’s just a short walk to the park’s main attraction: Lake Ashi. This lake is actually two separate bodies of water joined together by a narrow channel. The larger body of water is called Lake Ashi, while the smaller one is Lake Kushiro. Both lakes offer great views of Mount Yoteigahara volcano.
Lake Ashi is also home to a small herd of wild horses. They’re descendants of domestic horses brought to Japan centuries ago. Some of the horses still live among the trees near the shoreline.
Noboribetsu Hell Valley
Hokkaido’s most famous natural hot spring resort is located in the middle of the island. Nestled in the mountains above the town of Noboribetsu are sulphuric mud pools and a river where you could bathe your feet in naturally warm waters. This area is called “Hell valley”.
The trail leading up to the hot springs starts near the bus stop. From there, it takes about 30 minutes to reach the entrance. You can take the bus from Sapporo Station, New Chitose Airport, JR Nanao Station, Shinhidaka Station, Kitahiroshima Station, Shikotsuen Station, or the airport.
There are several ways to access the valley. One way is to hike down along the road towards the village of Sōya. Another option is to go via car via Route 561. There is also a cable car that runs from nearby Lake Ashi.
Located just north of Hakodad Onuma Park is a “quasi national park” known for its picturesque lake-dotted landscape and magnificent Mount Komagatake Volcano. One of Japan’s most famous hiking trails runs along the shores of Lake Kuzuryu, passing through forested areas and along the shores of the smaller ponds and lakes scattered throughout the area. This trail leads hikers around the lakes and islands, and connects to many others across the region.
The Onuma Park Quasi National Park covers about 930 hectares (2,300 acres), including the main Onuma Mountain Range, the largest mountain range in Hokkaido. There are some 80 lakes within the park, and the mountains surrounding the park offer views of Mount Fuji, Mount Shikotsuko, Mount Nizawa, Mount Hachimantai, Mount Sounkyo, and Mount Chitose.
The Sanriku Coast stretches across the Pacific Ocean along the Aomori Prefecture coastlines. In 2011, a devastating earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, causing massive damage that left thousands dead and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Many of those affected are still living in temporary housing. But there is hope for the future thanks to the efforts of local government officials and volunteers. One such example is the Michinoku Coastal trail, a 707 kilometer long hiking path that connects communities devastated by the disaster.
A network of hiking trails lead to the summit of Mount Kusatsu-Shirinagatake, located in Japan’s Gunma prefecture. The peak offers visitors stunning views of the surrounding mountains and towns, including the famous Kusatsu Onsen resort.
The hike takes about three hours roundtrip, beginning near the base of the mountain, where there are parking lots and restrooms. From there, hikers follow the trail up to the summit, passing several small waterfalls along the way. At the top, you’ll find a large crater lake surrounded by lush vegetation.
Mount Nasudake is an inactive volcano located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is one of the most accessible mountains in the region, being close to Tokyo and within easy reach of many cities throughout Tochigi Prefecture and neighboring Gunma Prefecture.
The mountain is a popular hiking location, with a ropeways and trails to the summit, and several other trails and suspension bridges further down. There are also some interesting sights along the way.
Casual hikers may want to take a look at Heisei no Mori Park, which used to be an Imperial villa and summer retreat of the Japanese imperial family.
At the heart of Izu Oshima, the largest of Japan’s Izu Islands, lies Mount Mihara, one of the most active volcanoes in Japan. Its eruptions are relatively rare, however, and it hasn’t seen a significant activity since 1986. Today, there are various hiking trails leading up to the crater of this active volcano, which last erupted in 1891.
The island itself is home to numerous species of birds, including the Japanese crested ibis, red-crowned crane, black stork, white heron, and purple martin. There are also many varieties of plants growing here, such as sea buckthorn, wild mustard, Japanese knotweed, and bamboo.
The Kamikochi Valley lies just outside Nagano Prefecture, Japan. This picturesque landscape offers visitors a wide range of activities including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping and even hot spring bathing.
A popular destination among Japanese tourists, Kamikochi attracts hikers looking for a relaxing retreat away from urban life. In addition to offering stunning views, the Kamikochi is home to numerous hiking trails, many of which are suitable for beginners. Visitors can take day hikes along the riverbed of the Tonegawa River, which flows through the valley, or opt for longer treks into the surrounding mountains.
Mount Norikura is located in Nagano Prefecture. Its name literally translates into “the north face.” This mountain is famous among hikers because it offers some of the best views in the entire area. In fact, there are several bus lines that take visitors up to the very top of the mountain. There you will find a small village called Norikura.
The mountain itself is quite easy to access. From Tokyo, it takes about three hours to reach the base of the mountain via train, bus, foot, or car. Once there, you can hike up the mountain to see the breathtaking view of Fujiyoshida city. You can even continue on to Mount Hakuba, where you will find many hotels and restaurants.
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpin Route stretches over 2,400 km across the mountains of Hokkaido and Shizuoka prefectures, connecting five towns including Mount Fuji. This route is one of three routes in Japan designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A total of 1,200 people per day use the Tateyama Kurobe Cable Car, which connects the town of Takayama with the mountain resort of Hakuba.
A unique feature of the Tateyama Kurobé Alpine Route is the “rope way,” which consists of a combination of cable cars and gondolas. One cable car runs up Mt. Murodō, while another goes up Mt. Hino, both reaching heights of 3,600 meters above sea level. There is also a ropeway that takes visitors to the top of Mt. Kita-Hakuba. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the area, including Lake Ashi and Mt. Fuji.
The Shosenkyo Gorge is located about 30 minutes by car from Kofu City. This area is known for its gorgeous fall foliage. In addition to being able to see the stunning scenery from the road, you can walk along the riverbed and enjoy views of the waterfalls and the surrounding forests.
There are several trails leading up to the waterfall. One of the most popular routes follows the Arakawa River upstream to the Sengataki Waterfall. From there, it takes approximately 15 minutes to reach the falls. There is a ropeway that allows visitors to take a cable car ride to the top of the cliffs overlooking the gorge. From here, you can enjoy some great views of the natural landscape.
The centerpiece of Hakusan, Mount Hakusan, is the tallest mountain in Western Japan and an important religious symbol. But it’s also one of the most beautiful places in Japan.
Hakusan National Park is located in Fukuoka Prefecture and covers about 2,600 square kilometers. It’s home to Mt. Hakusan, which rises over 4,500 meters above sea level and is visible from almost anywhere in the city.
Although covered in snow for much part of the year, the mountains become a popular hiking destination from mid-June to late September.
Located at the southern tip of Japan’s Kii Peninsula, Kuma is home to some of the most sacred shrines in the world. These shrines include the Ise Grand Shrine, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and the Mie Prefecture Kumano Sanzan. Together, they make up the Kumano Kudo, a network of pilgrim trails that connects the Kumano Shinto shrines to each other and other significant religious sites in Japan.
For over 1000 year pilgrims have walked the Kumano Kado, a network of pilgrimages routes that connect the Kumanomichi shrine to other Kumano shrines. Today, many of these paths remain in use.
The hike begins about 2 kilometers south of the Shin-Kōbe Shinkansen Station, where you find the trailhead for the Nunobiki Hiking Trail. This path leads hikers through forested areas, along streams and across small bridges over tributaries. After passing the waterfall, the trail continues uphill to the Nunobiki Herb Garden, which provides visitors with information about local plants and herbs. From there, it takes about 30 minutes to reach the observation deck, which offers stunning views of Kobe and the surrounding area.
The ancient Buddhist temple Mount Shosha sits atop a steep cliff overlooking Himeji city. Legend says it was built during the reign of Emperor Keikou, who ruled Japan during the Nara period. The temple is home to Engyojiji, an atmospheric temple complex that spreads across the densely forested mountain topside.
Visitors can explore the three massive wooden halls, connected to one another by a network of forest paths. A stone staircase leads up to a terrace where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
The mountain is located in western Tottori Prefectural Kamisama District. It is one of Japan’s top 100 mountains and a popular hiking destination with many challenging routes leading up to its highest peaks. Located about 30 kilometers northeast of the city of Tottori, it is home to a number of hot springs and attracts visitors from around the world.
The Japanese island of Okinawa is home to one of the world’s most unusual natural wonders – Akiyoshidai. This massive plateau is dotted with thousands of limestone pillars, some towering up to 200 meters high. These are remnants of ancient coral reefs that once covered the area.
In recent times, however, much of the land has been developed into farmland, even though it still retains many areas of stunning natural beauty. To see what it looks like today, we took a trip to the Akiyoshidai Plateaus National Park, located about 10 kilometers south of Naha City.
Iya Valley is a remote and mountainous area in western Tokushima, Japan. Located deep within the island, it is home to Mount Tōshigu, the second highest peak on Shikoku. Its name translates roughly into “Valley of Three Gods.”
The area was once part of the ancient province of Awa, and even today retains much of its traditional charm. In addition to stunning scenery, visitors can enjoy the local cuisine, including rice balls stuffed with seafood, sake, and vegetables.
A small island off the coast of Shimane Prefecture, Shodoshima is known for being a popular destination for those looking to relax. The island boasts some beautiful beaches, particularly around the town of Onahama. There are plenty of opportunities for surfing, swimming, fishing, and sightseeing.
The star shape of Awashima Island is due to the perfect alignment of three smaller islands. These are called Awa, Shikijima and Hikijima. They lie about 15 km offshore from Awashima Town and are linked together via a narrow channel. This makes it possible to reach all three islands within one hour. On the southern tip of Awashima lies the port town of Kita-Kagawa. Its streets are lined with traditional Japanese houses built around a central courtyard.
The Aso-Kuju national park covers over 3,500 square miles of rugged terrain in southern Japan. One of the most popular destinations in the area is the Kuju mountains, which contain some of the tallest peaks in the islands. If you want to see what it takes to climb one of the peaks, there are several hiking options available.
One of the easiest ways to hike up the mountain is along the trail that leads to the visitor center at the bottom of the mountain. This trail begins just outside the entrance gate at the end of the road leading into the park. From here, visitors can walk about five minutes down a paved path to the visitor center, where they will find restrooms and a small museum with information about the park. There is also a snack bar inside the building.
If you don’t mind a little extra effort, you can continue walking another three kilometers beyond the visitor center to reach the summit of Mount Otoishi. To do so requires a steep ascent of almost 2,000 feet. However, the rewards are worth the effort. At nearly 5,400 feet above sea level, the peak offers spectacular views of surrounding areas.
Another option for hikers is to take the longer route to the summit via the “Chojabaru Trail.” This trail starts approximately 10 minutes away from the visitor center, and follows a well-maintained dirt road for about seven kilometers. Along the way, the trail passes through dense forests and open meadows, offering plenty of photo ops.
The final destination for those looking to explore the Kuju mountains is the summit of Mount Kuchibata. Located at 7,935 feet above sea level, this peak is home to a large crater lake called Lake Hachijo. Visitors must pay a fee to enter the area around the lake, making it difficult for casual hikers to access. For those willing to make the trek, however, the view is worth the trip.
Mount Aso is a large volcanic cone located near Fukuoka city in Japan’s southernmost prefecture. This volcano is famous for being the home of the highest peak in Japan, Mt. Myōjin. It is also known for having some of the most beautiful views in the region.
The mountain is part of the Aso Caldera National Park, which covers 784 square kilometers. There are over 40 different types of plants found here, including about 20 species of trees, shrubs, and herbs.
There are many hiking trails around the crater lake of the volcano. One popular trail leads to the summit of the mountain. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
In addition, there are several places where visitors can try out outdoor activities like horseback riding.
Mount Unzen is a one-of-a-kind volcano located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. This popular tourist destination sits at the foot of Mt. Fuji, and offers visitors breathtaking views of both mountains.
The mountain most recently erupted in the mid-1990s, killing five people and destroying hundreds of homes. The eruption occurred just months before the 1996 Summer Olympics, which took place nearby.
In recent decades, however, tourism has increased dramatically around the mountain, making it one of Japan’s biggest attractions.
Visitors can take a ropeways ride halfway up the mountain, from where a network hiking trail leads to the peak.
This video features footage taken during a hike up the mountain.
Yakushima National Park
The island of Yakushima is located off the southern coast of Japan, about 200 km southwest of Kagoshima City. Known as one of the most beautiful places in Japan, it is home to numerous rare species such as red pheasants, Japanese giant salamanders, and brown bears. There are over 300 different kinds of plants found here, and some of the oldest trees in Japan grow on the island. In addition, there are nearly 2,500 kinds of birds living here, making it one of the richest bird habitats in Japan.
Okinawa is best known for its beautiful beaches, but there are some great hiking options too. This sub-tropical island boasts plenty of trails, including one leading to Hiji Waterfall. Located near Nago City, the waterfall drops into a small pool and flows down a rocky cliff face. It’s a short walk from the trailhead, where you’ll find information boards describing the route.
The waterfall is located on the north side of the island, and is easily accessible via public transportation. From Naha Airport, take the bus bound for Shuri, get off at Kita Ward, and follow signs to the park. Expect to pay ¥300 per person for transport and admission fees. If you don’t want to hire a guide, you could always ask someone on the street.
The Yaeyamas are one of Japan’s best kept secrets. Located off the coast of Okinawa Prefecture, the islands offer visitors a chance to explore a subtropical paradise. Hiking through the jungle, swimming in crystal clear waters and relaxing on the beach are just some of the things you can enjoy during your trip.
Many visitors do a little hiking while on board the river cruises along the Urauchi River. You can also combine some hiking with a canoe or kayak tour through the mangroves lining the river.
A much more difficult and dangerous journey is also possible via a path through the island’s interior. This involves crossing a mountain range and traversing steep cliffs.