The land of the rising sun, Japan, is arguably one of the top travel destinations, and often for the stunning and best hiking sites in and around this island archipelago. There’s just so much to take in – weird inventions, unique culture, modern metropolises and a spectrum of diverse landscapes.
Why Hiking in Japan?
Comprising more than 6,000 islands of various shapes and sizes, there are countless hiking trails to experience. From the easier hikes to those more suitable for experienced hikers, it would take several lifetimes to traverse them all. It would take more than a lifetime to walk them all.
Standing tall above its surrounding landscape at 13,389 feet above sea level, Mount Fuji is Japan’s most iconic and tallest mountain. The snow-dusted, dormant volcano is highly regarded by followers of the country’s major religions – Shinto and Buddhism – who believes the mountain is sacred.
Situated off the north-western coast of Hokkaido, Rebun is a long and thin island that has striking landscapes. The seemingly never-ending hills invariably lead to imposing seaside cliffs with a panoramic view, from here, you’ll have a good view across the deep blue waters of the Sea of Japan. Hike up Mount Rebun and you’ll be rewarded with a luxurious sight of its beautiful alpine flowers.
Here, are two popular hiking paths to choose from: one is an eight-hour trail which will take you across the southern to the northern tip of the island, with a total walking distance of 18 miles. If you prefer an easier hike, go for the four-hour trail, which encircles either the northern or southern half of the island. Both are equally picturesque and you’ll leave refreshed with many great images captured!
The Kumano Kodo is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a group of pilgrimage paths that wind through three of Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrines. This area has a longstanding history and generally regarded as one of Japan’s holiest locations. The beauty of this hiking trail is that trekkers are lead through the enclave’s beautiful landscapes, and also through iconic historical sites, killing two birds with one stone. Take your time through the impenetrable forests, fierce rivers and cascading waterfalls and take in all that this special place stands for.
Situated just off the southern coast of Japan, Yakushima is replete with greenery – forested mountains covered in rampant growth of slippery moss. Its location also mean that its swathed in a blur of fog that wafts in from the sea, giving it an otherworldly feel. Guests to Yakushima often choose to wander leisurely through the fairytale cedar forests, or trek up the summit of Mount Miyanoura (6,348 feet) for the breathtaking view.
Experienced trekkers will love the varied terrain of the Japanese Alps, undoubtedly one of the best hiking sites in Japan. Enjoy the cool hues of green and blue filtering through the peaks as you explore the active volcanoes, slow-moving glaciers, and thick forests. When you’re here, do not miss the Omote Ginza, located on the northern point of the natural range. An easy three-day hike takes trekkers to the pinnacle of some of the country’s most popular mountain ranges, and through the natural hot springs. that this area is blessed with.
Are you researching your next hiking trip to Japan? Whatever you do, do not miss these best hiking sites in Japan! Be safe and remember to leave only footprints wherever you go!