Hiiking spots in Japan

Want to Enjoy Popular Hiking Trails in Japan?

Be Prepared for Hiking Risks as an Individual Traveler

Common Concerns for Those Who Want to Hike in Japan

Japan has many popular hiking trails, but it can be challenging to know where to start without local knowledge.
Popular courses can have fully booked trains and hotels, making reservations difficult.
There are risks of extreme weather and natural disasters, and it’s hard to find the right information to prepare properly.

Prepare Thoroughly Ahead of Time

The Potential Danger Due to Extreme Weather

Trees knocked down by the typhoon, blocking the hiking trail.
Japanese hiking trails are not as well-equipped for foreign tourists compared to Europe. Additionally, the recent impact of extreme weather increases the risk of unforeseen natural disasters, necessitating thorough preparation. However, foreign travelers often have limited access to such information. Preparing appropriate clothing and gear can be challenging, and language barriers can turn hiking into a stressful experience.

To ensure you have a fantastic hiking experience in Japan, we recommend the following three types of hiking courses:

Recommendation 1: Popular Day-Hike Trails
These are popular hiking courses that can be done as day trips from cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Many of these trails feature cable cars and ropeways, making them accessible and enjoyable even for beginners.

See Recommendation 1 >>>

Recommendation 2: Well-Equipped Hiking Trails
These are some of Japan’s premier hiking courses. With over 70% of Japan’s land being mountainous, there are numerous trails across the country. We highlight those that are well-equipped and safe for international tourists to enjoy.

See Recommendation 2 >>>

Recommendation 3: Guided Hiking Tours for Safety
Lastly, we recommend guided hiking tours. With a guide, you can navigate unfamiliar paths without worry and gain a deeper understanding of the surrounding history and culture.

See Recommendation 3 >>>

With countless hiking trails in Japan, it can be challenging to decide which one will provide you with the most memorable experience. As a helpful guide, our editorial team has marked our top recommendations with a “Must Visit” red label. These trails not only allow you to feel the terrain of the Japanese archipelago, where over 70% is mountainous, but also offer unique opportunities to explore the rich history and culture of each area.

Which Hiking Trail is Right for You?

Recommendation 1: Popular Day-Hike Trails

Popular Hiking Trails Around Tokyo

Mt. Takao (Tokyo)  Must Visit

People trekking at Mount Takao (Takao San), Tokyo, Japan
Easily accessible from Tokyo, Mt. Takao offers trails suitable for beginners to advanced hikers. The view from the summit and the Yakuoin Temple are major attractions.

Mount Takao is extremely popular among both domestic and international tourists, especially since it received a three-star rating from the Michelin Guide. Therefore, it gets very crowded, particularly on weekends, so plan your trip with ample time.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring (cherry blossoms) and Autumn (colorful foliage).
Address Takao-machi, Hachioji, Tokyo 193-0844, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Shinjuku Station, take the Keio Line to Takaosanguchi Station (55 minutes).
  • Car: Via Chuo Expressway, exit at Hachioji IC.
General Hiking Information
(Using Cable Car)
  • Start: Take the cable car from Kiyotaki Station to Takaosan Station.
  • Hike: From Takaosan Station, follow Trail 1, a well-maintained path with paved sections. This route takes about 40 minutes to reach the summit.
  • Return: Hike back down to Takaosan Station and take the cable car back to the base.
Editorial Note A perfect escape from Tokyo, offering both easy and challenging hikes with stunning views and cultural experiences. Don’t miss the local Tororo Soba.

 

Mt. Oyama (Kanagawa)

Mt. Oyama in Kanagawa offers well-maintained trails and stunning views. The Oyama Afuri Shrine and the surrounding nature provide a peaceful hiking experience.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring (cherry blossoms) and Autumn (colorful foliage).
Address Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1107, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Shinjuku Station, take the Odakyu Line to Isehara Station. Then, take a bus to Oyama Cable Car Station (90 minutes total).
  • Car: Via Tomei Expressway, exit at Atsugi IC, and follow signs to Mount Oyama.
General Hiking Information
(Using Cable Car)
  • Start: Take the cable car from Oyama Cable Car Station to Afuri Shrine Station.
  • Hike: From Afuri Shrine Station, follow the trail to the summit. This route takes about 90 minutes and offers beautiful views along the way.
  • Return: Hike back down to Afuri Shrine Station and take the cable car back to the base.
Editorial Note Mount Oyama is a great destination for a day trip from Tokyo, offering both natural beauty and historical sites. Be sure to visit Afuri Shrine and enjoy the scenic views. Don’t miss the local specialty, Oyama tofu.

 

Mt. Nokogiri (Chiba)

Mt. Nokogiri in Chiba features impressive rock formations and panoramic views of Tokyo Bay. The Nihonji Temple and its giant Buddha statue are must-sees.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring and Autumn.
Address Motona, Kyonan-machi, Awa-gun, Chiba 299-2100, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Uchibo Line to Hama-Kanaya Station. Then, take a short walk to the Nokogiriyama Ropeway (about 2 hours total).
  • Car: Via Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line and follow signs to Mount Nokogiri.
General Hiking Information
(Using Ropeway)
  • Start: Take the Nokogiriyama Ropeway from the base to the top station.
  • Hike: From the top station, explore the trails leading to various viewpoints, including the “Hell Peek Point” and the Nihonji Temple with its giant Buddha statue. The hike is relatively easy and takes about 1-2 hours.
  • Return: Walk back to the top station and take the ropeway down to the base.
Editorial Note Mount Nokogiri offers a unique hiking experience with stunning views of Tokyo Bay and fascinating historical sites. It’s a perfect day trip for those looking to combine nature and culture. Don’t miss the breathtaking views from “Hell Peek Point” and the impressive Nihonji Daibutsu.

Popular Hiking Trails Around Osaka

Minoo (Osaka)

Minoo Falls in Autumn, Osaka Japan

The Minoo Hiking Course, located just north of Osaka, is a perfect escape for nature lovers visiting the city. This easy and accessible trail is ideal for beginners and offers a variety of attractions along the way.

The highlight of the hike is the beautiful Minoo Waterfall, a stunning 33-meter waterfall that provides a picturesque backdrop, especially vibrant in autumn when the leaves turn brilliant shades of red and orange.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Autumn (colorful foliage) and Spring (cherry blossoms).
Address Minoo Park, Minoo, Osaka 562-0002, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Umeda Station, take the Hankyu Takarazuka Line to Ishibashi Handai-mae Station, then transfer to the Hankyu Minoo Line to Minoo Station (30 minutes total).
  • Car: Via Meishin Expressway, exit at Toyonaka IC and follow signs to Minoo Park.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike from Minoo Station and follow the paved trail through Minoo Park.
  • Hike: The trail is approximately 2.8 km (1.7 miles) long and takes about 45 minutes to reach Minoo Waterfall. The path is relatively easy and suitable for all ages.
  • Return: Hike back along the same path to Minoo Station.
Editorial Note Minoo offers a serene escape from the city with its beautiful waterfall and lush greenery. It’s an easy and enjoyable hike for families and nature lovers. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, maple leaf tempura, available at shops along the trail.

 

Mt. Ikoma (Osaka/Nara)

Mt. Ikoma straddles Osaka and Nara, offering gentle trails and panoramic city views. The Hozanji Temple and the cable car ride add cultural interest to your hike.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring and Autumn.
Address Ikoma, Nara 630-0231, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Osaka Namba Station, take the Kintetsu Nara Line to Ikoma Station. Then, take the Ikoma Cable Car to the top (about 1 hour total).
  • Car: Via Hanshin Expressway, exit at Higashi-Osaka JCT and follow signs to Mount Ikoma.
General Hiking Information
(Using Cable Car)
  • Start: Take the Ikoma Cable Car from Ikoma Station to Hozanji Station.
  • Hike: From Hozanji Station, follow the trail to the summit. The hike takes about 1 hour and offers beautiful views and temple sites along the way.
  • Return: Hike back to Hozanji Station and take the cable car back to the base.
Editorial Note Mount Ikoma offers a mix of nature and cultural experiences, with stunning views and historical temples. It’s a great spot for a day hike, suitable for all ages. Be sure to explore the Hozanji Temple complex and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

 

Popular Hiking Trails Around Hiroshima

Mt. Misen (Hiroshima)

View of the Seto Inland Sea from the summit of Mount Misen, Hiroshima, Japan

Located on Miyajima Island, Mt. Misen is a spiritual mountain with trails leading to the summit. The summit offers spectacular views of the Seto Inland Sea, and the Daisho-in Temple along the way adds a cultural dimension to the hike. A ropeway is available for those who prefer a shorter hike.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring and Autumn.
Address Miyajima, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima 739-0588, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi Station, then take a ferry to Miyajima Island. The total journey takes about 1 hour.
  • Car: Via Sanyo Expressway, exit at Hatsukaichi IC and follow signs to Miyajimaguchi Ferry Terminal.
General Hiking Information
(Using Ropeway)
  • Start: Take the Miyajima Ropeway from Momijidani Station to Shishiiwa Station.
  • Hike: From Shishiiwa Station, follow the trail to the summit of Mount Misen. The hike takes about 30 minutes and offers panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea.
  • Return: Hike back to Shishiiwa Station and take the ropeway down to the base.
Editorial Note Mount Misen offers a combination of breathtaking views and historical significance. The hike provides a rewarding experience with stunning scenery and cultural landmarks. Be sure to explore the surrounding area, including the famous Itsukushima Shrine.

 

Recommendation 2: Well-Equipped Hiking Trails

Oirase Gorge (Aomori)

Fresh greenery in Oirase Gorge, Japan
Oirase Gorge in Aomori is renowned for its scenic beauty, featuring a series of waterfalls and lush greenery. The well-maintained paths make it accessible for beginners.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring (fresh greenery) and Autumn (colorful foliage).
Address Okuse, Towada, Aomori 034-0301, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Hachinohe Station, take a bus to Yakeyama (Oirase Gorge entrance), about 2 hours.
  • Car: Via Tohoku Expressway, exit at Towada IC and follow signs to Oirase Gorge.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike from Yakeyama (Oirase Gorge entrance).
  • Hike: The trail is approximately 14 km (8.7 miles) long and follows the Oirase Stream to Lake Towada. The hike takes about 4-5 hours and is relatively easy with well-maintained paths.
  • Return: You can take a bus back from Nenokuchi (Lake Towada) to your starting point or other destinations.
Editorial Note Oirase Gorge is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, with crystal-clear streams, waterfalls, and lush greenery. It’s an ideal destination for a scenic and peaceful hike. Don’t miss the breathtaking autumn colors and the serene atmosphere of Lake Towada at the end of the trail.

 

Goshikinuma (Fukushima)

Goshikinuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
Located in Fukushima, the Goshikinuma area is famous for its five colorful lakes. The trail is easy to follow, and the vibrant colors of the lakes are mesmerizing.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring, Summer, and Autumn (best for colorful foliage).
Address Kitashiobara, Yama District, Fukushima 969-2701, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Koriyama Station, take the Ban’etsu West Line to Inawashiro Station, then take a bus to Goshikinuma Iriguchi (about 1 hour 30 minutes total).
  • Car: Via Ban’etsu Expressway, exit at Inawashiro Bandai Kogen IC and follow signs to Goshikinuma.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at the Goshikinuma Iriguchi (Goshikinuma entrance).
  • Hike: The trail is approximately 3.6 km (2.2 miles) long and takes about 1.5 hours to complete. It winds through several colorful ponds, each with unique hues created by volcanic minerals.
  • Return: The trail is a loop, bringing you back to the starting point.
Editorial Note Goshikinuma, or the Five Colored Ponds, offers a mesmerizing hike with vibrant colors and serene landscapes. It’s an easy and accessible trail, perfect for nature lovers and photographers. Each pond’s unique color changes with the seasons, providing a magical experience year-round.

 

Nikko – Lake Chuzenji Area  Must Visit

Lake Chuzenji in autumn, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
Located in Tochigi, the trails around Lake Chuzenji offer breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Accessible by cable car, the area is beginner-friendly and ideal for those looking to combine hiking with cultural sightseeing.

Nikko is very crowded from mid-October to early November when the autumn leaves are at their peak. Be sure to book hotels and tours early. Also, plan to start your trip to Lake Chuzenji early in the day.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring, Summer, and Autumn (best for colorful foliage).
Address Nikko, Tochigi 321-1661, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya Station, then transfer to the JR Nikko Line to Nikko Station. From Nikko Station, take a bus to Lake Chuzenji (about 2 hours total).
  • Car: Via Tohoku Expressway, exit at Utsunomiya IC and follow signs to Nikko and Lake Chuzenji.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at Lake Chuzenji.
  • Hike: There are various trails around Lake Chuzenji, ranging from easy walks along the lake’s shore to more challenging hikes up nearby mountains like Mount Nantai. The most popular trail is the Senjogahara Marshland Trail, which is about 6 km (3.7 miles) and takes around 2 hours.
  • Return: Trails typically loop back or return to the starting point, or you can take a bus back to Nikko.
Editorial Note The Nikko – Lake Chuzenji area is renowned for its natural beauty and historical significance. With a variety of trails and stunning scenery, it’s an excellent destination for both casual walkers and avid hikers. Enjoy the serene views of Lake Chuzenji, and don’t miss the spectacular Kegon Falls nearby.

 

Mt. Fuji 5th Station Area

Near the 5th station of Mount Fuji, Japan
Starting from the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji, you can enjoy a moderate hike with stunning views of the iconic mountain. This area is well-equipped and suitable for beginners who want to experience Japan’s tallest peak without a full summit attempt.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Late Spring to Early Autumn (May to October).
Address Mount Fuji 5th Station, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka 418-0112, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line to Otsuki Station, then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway to Kawaguchiko Station. From there, take a bus to the 5th Station (about 2.5 hours total).
  • Car: Via Chuo Expressway, exit at Kawaguchiko IC and follow signs to Mount Fuji 5th Station.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike from the Mount Fuji 5th Station.
  • Hike: The trails around the 5th Station offer easy and scenic walks with stunning views of Mount Fuji and the surrounding landscape. Popular trails include the Ochudo Trail, which is relatively flat and takes about 1-2 hours to explore.
  • Return: Return to the 5th Station and enjoy the various shops and cafes before heading back.
Editorial Note The Mount Fuji 5th Station area provides a perfect opportunity to experience the majesty of Mount Fuji without the challenges of a full ascent. Enjoy the breathtaking views, fresh mountain air, and the unique atmosphere of this iconic location. It’s an ideal spot for a relaxing and memorable stroll.

 

Sumatakyo – Yume no Tsuribashi (Shizuoka)

Yume no Tsuribashi, Shizuoka prefcture, Japan
Sumatakyo in Shizuoka is famous for the Dream Suspension Bridge. The area offers gentle hiking trails with picturesque views, making it a popular spot for beginners.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring and Autumn (best for colorful foliage).
Address Sumatakyo Onsen, Kawanehon, Haibara District, Shizuoka 428-0411, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Shizuoka Station, take the JR Tokaido Line to Kanaya Station. Transfer to the Oigawa Railway and get off at Senzu Station. From there, take a bus to Sumatakyo Onsen (about 2.5 hours total).
  • Car: Via Shin-Tomei Expressway, exit at Shimada-Kanaya IC and follow signs to Sumatakyo Onsen.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike from Sumatakyo Onsen.
  • Hike: The trail to Yume no Tsuribashi (Dream Suspension Bridge) is approximately 1.5 km (1 mile) and takes about 30-45 minutes each way. The trail is relatively easy and offers beautiful views of the emerald green water and surrounding forest.
  • Return: Hike back to Sumatakyo Onsen and enjoy the hot springs and local cuisine.
Editorial Note Sumatakyo and the Yume no Tsuribashi offer a serene and picturesque hiking experience. The stunning scenery and tranquil atmosphere make it a perfect destination for a relaxing day trip. Don’t miss the chance to cross the iconic suspension bridge and enjoy the rejuvenating hot springs at Sumatakyo Onsen.

 

Kamikochi  Must Visit

Hotaka mountains and Kappa bridge in Kamikochi, Nagano, Japan
Located in the Northern Japan Alps, Kamikochi offers stunning alpine scenery with well-maintained trails along the Azusa River. The area is accessible and popular among tourists.

Kamikochi is very popular, so early reservations for hotels and tours are necessary.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring (May) to Autumn (October).
Address Azumi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-1516, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Matsumoto Station, take the Alpico Line to Shin-Shimashima Station, then transfer to a bus to Kamikochi (about 2 hours total).
  • Car: Private cars are not allowed in Kamikochi. Park at the designated parking areas in Hirayu or Sawando and take a bus or taxi to Kamikochi.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal.
  • Hike: The trails around Kamikochi are well-maintained and mostly flat, making them suitable for beginners, children, and the elderly. A popular route is the walk from the Kappa Bridge to Myojin Bridge, which is about 3 km (1.9 miles) and takes around 1.5 hours one way.
  • Return: Return to the Kamikochi Bus Terminal along the same route or take a slightly different path along the Azusa River for varied scenery.
Editorial Note Kamikochi is a pristine natural paradise offering breathtaking views of the Japanese Alps. The easy and scenic trails make it an ideal destination for a relaxing hike with family and friends. Enjoy the crystal-clear rivers, lush greenery, and majestic mountains that define this beautiful area.

 

Hakuba Valley  Must Visit

Japanese Northern Alps Reflection on Happoike Pond, Hakuba Valley, Japan
The Hakuba Valley in Nagano is a prime spot for hiking, with the Happo-One Nature Study Trail leading to Happo Pond. The area offers spectacular mountain views and is beginner-friendly.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Summer and Autumn (best for colorful foliage).
Address Hakuba, Kitaazumi District, Nagano 399-9301, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano Station, then transfer to an express bus to Hakuba (about 3 hours total).
  • Car: Via Nagano Expressway, exit at Azumino IC and follow signs to Hakuba.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at the Hakuba Happo-One Gondola Adam station.
  • Hike: Take the gondola to Happo-One Usagidaira Terrace, then transfer to the Grat Quad lift to reach the upper hiking trails. From there, follow the easy trail to Happo-ike Pond. The hike takes about 1 hour and offers stunning views of the Japanese Alps.
  • Return: Return to the gondola station and take the gondola back down to the base.
Editorial Note Hakuba is a beautiful destination with breathtaking alpine scenery. The gondola and lift make it easy for beginners to access high-altitude trails and enjoy the stunning views. The hike to Happo-ike Pond is particularly recommended for its scenic beauty and ease of access.

 

Tateyama  Must Visit

Even in spring, a lot of snow remains on Mt. Tateyama, Japan.
Accessible via the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, this area offers hiking opportunities from Murodo. The views of the mountains and the famous Snow Corridor are highlights.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring to Autumn (April to November).
Address Tateyama, Nakaniikawa District, Toyama 930-1406, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen to Toyama Station. Then, take the Toyama Chiho Railway to Tateyama Station and transfer to the Tateyama Cable Car to Bijodaira (about 3.5 hours total).
  • Car: Via Hokuriku Expressway, exit at Tateyama IC and follow signs to Tateyama Station.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at Murodo Station, reached by Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route bus from Bijodaira.
  • Hike: The trail from Murodo to Mikurigaike Pond is a beginner-friendly path. This easy hike takes about 45 minutes round trip and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the crystal-clear pond.
  • Return: Return to Murodo Station and take the bus back to Bijodaira.
Editorial Note Tateyama provides an accessible and beautiful hiking experience for beginners. The Mikurigaike Pond trail offers breathtaking alpine scenery and is perfect for those looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the Japanese Alps without the challenge of a strenuous hike.

 

Senjojiki Cirque (Nagano)

Komagatake Rope-way going to Senjojiki Cirque,Komagatake Mount,Nagano,Japan
Senjojiki Cirque in Nagano is accessible by ropeway and offers easy trails with breathtaking alpine scenery. The area is especially beautiful in spring and autumn.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Summer and Autumn (best for colorful foliage).
Address Komagane, Nagano 399-4117, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line to Komagane Station. Then, take a bus to Shirabidaira, followed by a ropeway to Senjojiki Station (about 3.5 hours total).
  • Car: Via Chuo Expressway, exit at Komagane IC and follow signs to the ropeway station.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at Senjojiki Station, reached by the Komagatake Ropeway from Shirabidaira.
  • Hike: The trails around Senjojiki Cirque are beginner-friendly, offering stunning views of the cirque and the surrounding Central Alps. The circular trail takes about 1-2 hours to complete, depending on your pace and stops to enjoy the scenery.
  • Return: Return to Senjojiki Station and take the ropeway back to Shirabidaira.
Editorial Note Senjojiki Cirque offers a breathtaking alpine experience with relatively easy trails, making it perfect for beginners and families. The panoramic views of the cirque and the lush vegetation in summer, as well as the vibrant autumn colors, provide a stunning backdrop for a memorable hike.

 

Kumano Kodo – Nakahechi Route (Wakayama)  Must Visit

Kumano Kodo, a World Heritage Site, Japan
The Nakahechi Route of the Kumano Kodo in Wakayama is part of a World Heritage pilgrimage trail. It is well-marked and offers a cultural hike through historic shrines and beautiful forests.

For the Kumano Kodo, accommodation capacity is limited, so it’s important to book hotels and tours well in advance.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring and Autumn.
Address Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Osaka, take the JR Kuroshio Limited Express to Kii-Tanabe Station. From there, take a bus to Takijiri-oji (about 4 hours total).
  • Car: Via Hanwa Expressway, exit at Nanki-Tanabe IC and follow signs to Takijiri-oji.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at Takijiri-oji, the traditional starting point of the Nakahechi route.
  • Hike: The trail to the first major stop, Tsugizakura-oji, is about 7.5 km (4.7 miles) and takes around 3-4 hours. The path is well-maintained and offers a mix of forest trails, historical sites, and scenic views. This section is suitable for beginners and those seeking a short pilgrimage experience.
  • Return: You can take a bus from Tsugizakura-oji back to Kii-Tanabe or continue further along the route.
Editorial Note The Kumano Kodo – Nakahechi Route offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance. The well-preserved pilgrimage path is perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in Japan’s cultural heritage while enjoying a moderate hike. The journey through ancient forests and serene landscapes is both inspiring and rejuvenating.

 

Recommendation 3: Guided Hiking Tours for Safety

Shiretoko Five Lakes (Hokkaido)

Shiretoko Five Lakes, Hokkaido, Japan
Shiretoko Five Lakes in Hokkaido is a part of the Shiretoko Peninsula, a World Natural Heritage site. The trails offer a mix of elevated wooden paths and natural trails, providing an immersive nature experience.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring to Autumn (May to October).
Address Shari, Hokkaido 099-4356, Japan
Access
  • Train: From JR Sapporo Station, take the JR Limited Express to JR Shiretoko-Shari Station, then take a bus to the Shiretoko Five Lakes (about 6 hours total).
  • Car: Via Asahikawa-Monbetsu Expressway, exit at Shari IC and follow signs to Shiretoko Five Lakes.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at the Shiretoko Five Lakes Field House.
  • Hike: The Elevated Boardwalk is an easy 1.6 km (1 mile) loop that takes about 40 minutes to complete and offers stunning views of the first lake and the surrounding mountains. For a longer hike, the Ground Pathway Trail (requires a guided tour from May to July due to bear activity) is a 3 km (1.9 miles) loop that takes about 90 minutes to explore all five lakes.
  • Return: Both trails loop back to the starting point at the Field House.
Editorial Note Shiretoko Five Lakes offers a pristine hiking experience with breathtaking scenery and diverse wildlife. The easy trails are perfect for beginners and families, allowing everyone to enjoy the natural beauty of Shiretoko National Park. Be sure to check for bear activity and follow all safety guidelines during your visit.

 

Daisetsuzan (Hokkaido)

Autumn foliage at Daisetsuzan mountain in Hokkaido, Japan
Accessible via the Asahidake Ropeway, the trails around Asahidake in Hokkaido offer beautiful alpine scenery and are popular during the summer and autumn seasons.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Summer and Autumn (best for colorful foliage).
Address Asahidake Onsen, Higashikawa, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido 071-1472, Japan
Access
  • Train: From JR Sapporo Station, take the JR Limited Express to Asahikawa Station, then take a bus to Asahidake Onsen (about 3.5 hours total).
  • Car: Via Hokkaido Expressway, exit at Asahikawa-Takasu IC and follow signs to Asahidake Onsen.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at the Asahidake Ropeway Station.
  • Hike: Take the ropeway to Sugatami Station. From there, follow the easy loop trail around Sugatami Pond, which takes about 1 hour. For a slightly more challenging hike, you can extend your route to the Seventh Station, which offers stunning views and takes about 2-3 hours round trip.
  • Return: Return to Sugatami Station and take the ropeway back down to Asahidake Ropeway Station.
Editorial Note Daisetsuzan’s Asahidake area offers breathtaking alpine scenery with accessible trails suitable for beginners. The ropeway makes it easy to reach high-altitude paths, where you can enjoy the natural beauty of Hokkaido’s highest peak. Be sure to visit in autumn to witness the vibrant foliage.

 

Mt. Fuji (Summer Summit Climb)  Must Visit

Sunrise over a sea of ​​clouds at the top of Mount Fuji, Japan
Climbing Mt. Fuji is a bucket-list experience. The Yoshida Trail is recommended for beginners, featuring numerous mountain huts and breathtaking sunrise views from the summit.

Climbing Mount Fuji becomes particularly crowded from late July after the rainy season ends. To see the sunrise from the summit, you’ll need to take a nap at a mountain hut along the way. These huts get very busy, so make sure to book early. Also, reserve your tour before spots run out.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit July to early September (official climbing season).
Address Mount Fuji, Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line to Otsuki Station, then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway to Kawaguchiko Station. From there, take a bus to the 5th Station (about 2.5 hours total).
  • Car: Via Chuo Expressway, exit at Kawaguchiko IC and follow signs to Mount Fuji 5th Station.
General Climbing Information
  • Start: Begin your climb from the Mount Fuji 5th Station.
  • Climb: The Yoshida Trail is the most popular route, taking about 5-7 hours to reach the summit. The trail is well-marked, with mountain huts along the way for rest and overnight stays. It is essential to acclimate to the altitude to avoid altitude sickness.
  • Return: Descend using the same Yoshida Trail, which takes about 3-5 hours to return to the 5th Station.
Editorial Note Climbing Mount Fuji is a challenging but rewarding experience, offering spectacular views and a sense of accomplishment. Be prepared with appropriate gear, food, and water, and consider staying overnight at a mountain hut to witness the breathtaking sunrise from the summit. Remember to follow safety guidelines and respect the environment.

 

Fuji Five Lakes and Aokigahara Forest  Must Visit

Sunrise over Mt. Fuji seen from Lake Motosu, Japan
Aokigahara Forest near Mt. Fuji offers easy trails through the unique and serene forest landscape, with stunning views of the mountain.

The Aokigahara Forest can be dangerous without a knowledgeable local guide, so please be cautious.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring to Autumn (April to November).
Address Fuji Five Lakes Area, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line to Otsuki Station, then transfer to the Fujikyu Railway to Kawaguchiko Station. From there, take a bus to Lake Motosu or Aokigahara (about 2.5 hours total).
  • Car: Via Chuo Expressway, exit at Kawaguchiko IC and follow signs to Lake Motosu or Aokigahara.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at Lake Motosu or Aokigahara Forest entrance.
  • Hike: The trails around Lake Motosu and Aokigahara are well-marked and suitable for all levels. A guided tour is recommended for a safe and informative experience. The tours typically last 3-4 hours, exploring the scenic lakeshore, volcanic caves, and the dense forest of Aokigahara.
  • Return: The guided tours usually loop back to the starting point, making transportation easy.
Editorial Note Exploring the Fuji Five Lakes and Aokigahara Forest with a local guide offers an enriching experience, combining natural beauty with fascinating geological features. The guided tours provide insights into the area’s history, ecology, and folklore, ensuring a safe and memorable adventure.

 

Nakasendo Trail  Must Visit

Magome-juku, one of the old post towns on the Nakasendo road, Japan
The Nakasendo Trail, especially the section between Magome and Tsumago, offers a historical walk through scenic post towns and beautiful countryside.

Along the Nakasendo Trail, there are not many accommodation options, so early reservations are recommended.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring and Autumn.
Address Nakasendo Trail, Kiso Valley, Nagano and Gifu Prefectures, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Tokyo Station, take the JR Chuo Line to Nakatsugawa Station (about 2.5 hours), then take a bus to Magome-juku, one of the trail’s starting points.
  • Car: Via Chuo Expressway, exit at Nakatsugawa IC and follow signs to Magome-juku.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike at Magome-juku, one of the preserved post towns on the Nakasendo Trail.
  • Hike: The trail from Magome-juku to Tsumago-juku is a well-preserved and popular section, about 8 km (5 miles) long, taking around 3 hours to complete. A guided tour is highly recommended to learn about the historical significance and local culture. The path is well-marked and features beautiful scenery, including forests, streams, and traditional Japanese architecture.
  • Return: After reaching Tsumago-juku, you can take a bus back to Nakatsugawa Station or continue exploring other parts of the trail.
Editorial Note The Nakasendo Trail offers a unique journey through Japan’s history and natural beauty. A guided tour enhances the experience, providing insights into the Edo period, local traditions, and the beautiful landscapes of the Kiso Valley. This hike is perfect for those seeking a cultural and scenic adventure.

 

Iya Valley (Tokushima)

Kazurabashi Bridge in Iya Valley, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan
Iya Valley in Tokushima is known for its easy trails and stunning views. The area is rich in natural beauty and cultural sites.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring and Autumn.
Address Iya Valley, Miyoshi, Tokushima 778-0101, Japan
Access
  • Train: From Osaka or Okayama, take the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama Station, then transfer to the JR Dosan Line to Oboke Station. From there, take a bus to Iya Valley (about 5 hours total).
  • Car: Via Tokushima Expressway, exit at Ikeda IC and follow signs to Iya Valley.
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike from the Kazurabashi area.
  • Hike: The hike around Kazurabashi (the Vine Bridge) and the surrounding trails is suitable for beginners and offers stunning views of the valley. The Kazurabashi Bridge, made of vines, is a highlight and a thrilling experience as you cross the river below. The loop trail around the area takes about 1-2 hours, featuring scenic views of the valley and river.
  • Return: The loop trail brings you back to the starting point at Kazurabashi.
Editorial Note Iya Valley is a hidden gem offering breathtaking natural beauty and cultural experiences. The Kazurabashi Bridge is a must-see, providing a unique and adventurous way to explore the valley. A guided tour can enhance your visit, offering insights into the area’s history and local traditions.

 

Yakushima (Kagoshima)

Old Japanese cedar in Yakushima, Kagoshima, Japan
Yakushima Island, a World Heritage site, offers diverse hiking experiences. The trail to Jomon Sugi, a giant ancient cedar, is popular and well-marked.

Hiking on Yakushima can be quite challenging, so we recommend doing thorough research beforehand and booking a reliable guided tour.

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Basic Information
Best Season to Visit Spring to Autumn (March to November).
Address Yakushima, Kumage District, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Access
  • Flight: From Kagoshima Airport, take a direct flight to Yakushima Airport (about 40 minutes).
  • Ferry: From Kagoshima Port, take a high-speed ferry to Miyanoura Port or Anbo Port on Yakushima (about 2-3 hours).
General Hiking Information
  • Start: Begin your hike from Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine or Yakusugi Land, both popular starting points.
  • Hike: The trails in Yakushima range from easy to extremely challenging. A recommended beginner-friendly hike is the Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine to Taikoiwa Rock, which takes about 3-4 hours round trip. For a more challenging experience, the hike to Jomon Sugi, the ancient cedar tree, takes about 10-12 hours round trip. Be prepared for varying weather conditions and rugged terrain.
  • Return: Ensure you plan your hike so you return before dark. Trails can be slippery and difficult to navigate in low light.
Editorial Note Yakushima is renowned for its lush, ancient forests and unique wildlife. While the island offers unparalleled natural beauty, hikers should not underestimate the difficulty of some trails. Proper preparation, including good hiking gear, sufficient water, and awareness of weather conditions, is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Book Early for an Amazing Experience!

There is one crucial point we’d like to emphasize. If you want to experience the best hiking in Japan, it’s essential to gather information and make reservations for hotels and tours as early as possible. Unfortunately, “over-tourism” has become an issue in Japan. The number of international tourists is increasing every year, and popular hiking routes often see hotels fully booked and tours sold out surprisingly early. Last-minute preparations may leave you unable to book your desired accommodations or tours.

Why You Should Book Now

Benefits of Guided Hiking Plans

Through this website, we introduce various guided tours. Guided tours offer significant benefits.

Utilizing guided hiking plans offers several benefits:
1. Safety: Experienced guides ensure you don’t get lost and stay safe.
2. Language Support: English-speaking guides help you overcome language barriers.
3. Weather and Gear Advice: Receive advice on appropriate clothing and gear, ensuring you are well-prepared.
4. Cultural Insights: Learn about local culture and nature from knowledgeable guides.
5. Smooth Navigation: Even on popular trails, guides help you navigate smoothly, reducing stress.

Japanese guides are kind and dedicated to supporting you, enhancing your experience with their expertise. We sincerely hope you have wonderful encounters and enjoy your hiking adventure in Japan.

Amazing adventures await you. Act now and experience the best hiking in Japan!

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