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Most of the geographical area of the island country Japan is comprised of active volcanic mountain ranges. The beautiful mountain landscapes have been untouched by mankind in most of the parts and the Japanese hold a religious view to them. Making the best out of the natural phenomena, a flourishing tourism in the country provides travelers with innumerable opportunities to trek up the mountains ranging from easy walks to professional climbs. If one is looking for some adventurous fun in this culturally rich land, here is a handy guide on trekking in Japan.

Best Time For Trekking In Japan

Best Time For Trekking In Japan

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The weather conditions in Japan vary depending upon the regions. Hokkaido being the northeastern part of the country, is always lower in temperature compared to the central administrative part of the country. However, the best time to go trekking in Japan is during the summers. The temperature always averages between 24-29℃ during this period. The peak cherry blossom crowd can be avoided and the rains the of the early winter would not have begun. It is important to avoid the duration around the winters and note that the season of summer changes pertaining to which region one wants to be in.

Ideal Places For Hiking In Japan

Trail Autumn Trekking Trees Walk Forest Hiking

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  • Mount Fuji near Tokyo is the most sought-after volcanic mountain trek in Japan.
  • The Nikko Mountain in Tochigi is a beautiful tourist spot filled with lakes, waterfalls and the most scenic walking trails.
  • The Hokkaido region has a series of national parks and lakes that provide for scenic hiking trails.
  • Kumano Kodo is a series of pilgrimage hiking trails.
  • The Japan Alps in the Honshu region has a number of great hikes in Japan.

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Best Hiking Trails In Japan

See all the possible routes and trails that you can trek while on your adventurous trip to Japan. Which one would you like to try first?

1. Mount Fuji


Undoubtedly the most beautiful and the highest mountain in Japan, Mount Fuji offers the best trekking in Japan for seasoned climbers. The convex active volcano has to be in every adventurer’s list who dreams of conquering the summits of the world. It can be easily reached by frequent buses from Tokyo. As mentioned earlier, the mountain is open for trekking in the summer months between July and September. The official ascending trails of Mount Fuji are:

1) Yoshida trail: The Yoshida trail starts from the Fuji-Subaru 5th line station from the north side of the mountain. It takes about a total of 13 hrs to hike including the descent time from this trial. It is the most sought-after track and so one has to expect some crowd. The pathway is lined with sleeping huts and first aid centers at different toll points. One can expect some rocky and zigzag trails during the ascent.

2) Subashiri trail: This mountain trail starts from the east of the Subashiri 5th station and is one of the beautiful trekking routes in Japan. The ascent takes one through a winding forest area and slippery path with no first aid centers in the line. It takes about 8 hours to reach the summit from this trail.

3) Gotemba trail: The new 5th station from the southeastern side of the mountain makes up the Gotemba trail. It is the least crowded trail among the 4 and lacks public facilities such as restrooms, first aids centers, and huts. The path for the descent diverges from the same path on the gentle slopes.

4) Fujinomiya trail: The trail starts from the highest point in the southern side of the mountain making it relatively a shorter route. People have to follow the same path for both ascending and descending from the summit. The trail is composed of steep rocky slopes prone to injuries.

Duration: 1 day
Difficulty level: Medium to difficult depending upon the trail one chooses.
Cost: INR 4500 per person
Highlights: The mountain trail is famous for its sunrise view.
Tip: Make the ascent slowly allowing the body to acclimatize to the changing oxygen levels.

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2. Kumano Kodo

Kumano Kodo in Japan

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Kumano Kodo in the Kii Peninsula is a series of major pilgrimage hiking trails that lead to the religious shrines and temples near Kyoto. The hike takes one through the beautiful canopy of forest trees, flowing streams, hot springs, and waterfalls. Nakahechi is the most recommended path one is advised to undertake the hut to hut hiking in Japan. Japanese inns are available all along the route to break the journey every night. One can devour the beauty of nature with no time limit and enjoy the climb.

Duration: 5 days
Difficulty level: Easy
Cost: INR 90000 per person (includes food and accommodation)
Highlights: The trail is very scenic and has a calming effect on the climbers.
Tip: Climbers have to encounter a lot of stairs along the way.

Suggested Read: Cherry Blossoms Are In Full Bloom And So Is The All New Spring Flower Cruise In Japan In 2022

3. Mount Asahi

Mount Asahi

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Situated in one of the best hiking areas in Japan- the Hokkaido region, Mount Asahi is a part of a national park where one can see the steam spewing from a few parts of this active volcano. As dangerous as it may sound, Mount Asahi is way below the warning level adding an extra dose to the adventurous streak in one. It takes about 5 hours to hike around the volcanic crater and the trail is not very hard.

Duration: 1 day
Difficulty level: Easy
Cost: INR 1800 per person
Highlights: The only trail where one can see the hot steam from the mountain
Tip: Keep the body hydrated.

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4. Yarigatake


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Yarigatake is located in the Kita Alps near Kamikochi and like the climb itself, it is equally difficult to get the place. The hike here is quite crowded because of the various landscapes one comes across that makes all the effort worthwhile. One can come across a stream, hot springs, dam and a lot of greenery before reaching the summit. Sleeping camps are set up for the climbers and the ascent is filled with steep rocky ridges. This beautiful trekking track in Japan is definitely not for the first timers and it is prohibited to continue climbing after dusk.

Duration: 2 days
Difficulty level: Difficult
Cost: INR 7000 per person
Highlights: The hike is only for serious and professional climbers.
Tip: keep out of UV rays and do not try to bullet climb.

5. Mount Nantai

Mount Nantai

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Mount Nantai is a sacred mountain to Shinto religion in the Nikko hiking area in Japan that offers an amazing hiking experience. The climb itself is very scenic complete with a set of green landscapes, hot springs, natural lake, and waterfalls. One can come across a shrine at the foot of the mountain dedicated to the very same mountain God and continue ascending the steep climb. The distance between the shrine and the summit is less than 7 km but the climb is quite strenuous because of the rigged mountain rocks. There are other four trails available that can be taken to reach the summit.

Duration: 1 day
Difficulty level: Medium
Cost: INR 300 per person
Highlights: It is a beautiful day hike coupled with a religious tour.
Tip: Carry lots of water

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6. Kamakua


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Kamakura is a city near Tokyo that is known for its 13 meters tall Buddha bronze statue on top of a hill. The hiking trail to this temple shrine is perfect for a day trip and is one of the great hikes in Japan. There are officially seven hiking trails that lead to the Great Buddha and all the routes take one through the beautiful forest landscapes. It is fairly an easy and a fun hike to reach the miraculous Buddha that survived the tsunami.

Duration: 1 day
Difficulty level: Easy
Cost: INR 300 per person
Highlights: Best option for a cultural and religious tour coupled with some adventure.
Tip: Wear a pair comfortable yet sturdy boots.

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7. Shikoku Henro

Lake view

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Shikoku Henro is an island with a collection of Shinto temples and shrines. The island that hosts a bit lesser than 100 shrines is unquestionably unattainable in one go. It is more of a pilgrimage route than a hiking path and a perfect example of a hut to hut hiking in Japan. The route is tarred and smooth until some point while the rest takes one through the forest area and steep steps. It takes about a month to complete the trail that runs along the whole circumference of the island.

Duration: 1 month
Difficulty level: Easy
Cost: INR 4000 per day per person
Highlights: One can explore the whole island in one trail.
Tip: Carry bear bells along to keep away from the wild bears in the forest.

Further Read: Getting A Japan Visa Will Now Be Easier Than Buying A Movie Ticket!

Whether it is to explore the lush countryside, to undertake a serious climb or to get on the religious tours, trekking in Japan provides ample opportunities for one. There is something for all kind of climbers. Get your backpacks ready and book your holiday in Japan today with TravelTriangle to reach the highest summits of this beautiful nation.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Hiking In Japan

What are some of the most famous hiking trails in Japan?

The most famous trails for hiking in Japan lead to Mount Fuji, and some of the famous trails are namely, Yoshida trail, the Subashiri trail, the Gotemba trail, and the Fujinomiya trail. Other popular hiking trails are Kumano Kodo, Mount Asahi trail, Yarigatake trail, Mount Nantai trail, Kamauka trail, Shikoku henro trail, and many more.

How many days does one take to complete the entire trail to Mount Fuji in Japan?

You will be able to complete the entire trail to Mount Fuji within a day. Though the time is taken depends upon the path a hiker chooses. Specific pathways are more complicated than others but take less time.

What is the significance of the Kumano Kodo trail in Japan?

The Kumano Kodo trail is a pilgrimage trip. You will find several renowned shrines and temples at the end of each path. It usually takes five days to complete the entire trail, and you will be able to spend nights in inns in the villages and relish delicious meals during the hike.

What is the most beautiful hiking area in Japan?

The Hokkaido region is magnificently beautiful. You will be able to reach Mount Asahi by hiking through the area.

Can a beginner hike in the Yarigatake trail?

The trail that leads to Yarigatke is quite tricky. It takes two days for an expert to complete the trail. You will have to sleep in camps during the trip, and for a beginner, it is quite tricky.

What are some of the famous hiking trails in Osaka in Japan?

There are several trekking trails in Osaka, including Minoo Park, Mount Rokko, Kurama Station, and many more.

When is the apt time to go hiking in Japan?

You should go hiking in Japan during the summertime because the winters are brutal and the hiking trails are closed during monsoon.

What is the cost to hike to Mount Fuji?

You will be able to cover the hiking trip to Mount Fuji within INR 4500 per person.

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Category: Adventure, Japan, Trekking

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