When you think of hiking, you probably have visions of snowcapped mountains and dense forests. Well, Japan might not be the first country that comes to your mind. However, this landlocked country offers some surprisingly good hiking trails with lush green landscapes that feel straight out of a fairy tale. It’s even called “The Hiking Paradise of Asia” by Japan National Tourism Organization. Not only does it have numerous hiking trails but also has a long history of the same. The word ‘hiking’ in Japanese literally translates to ‘mountain path’ and there are many mountainous regions throughout the country that are perfect for this activity. If you love nature and want to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of city life for a while, we have some great news for you. There are plenty of amazing places in Japan where you can go hiking! Here is our top choices for hiking in Japan.
Shikoku Henro Trail
If you want to start your hiking journey with a spiritually enriching experience, the Shikoku Henro Trail might be just the thing for you. This trail was created around the Buddhist temples in Shikoku, the 4th largest island in Japan. And, there are many trails that criss-cross the island, some of which go through dense forest, mountainous regions, and also along the coast. This is one of the most famous trails in Japan, especially among the tourists who visit this country. The trail has a fascinating history and was created around the 8th century when a Buddhist monk named Ei-Kippon made the first pilgrimage on foot to the 88 Buddhist temples that exist in Shikoku. The trail is still walked today by many people, especially during the summer months. If you’re planning to walk this trail, it’s best to start in spring or autumn when the weather is not so humid or hot. The trail is around 95 kilometers long and takes around 5 to 7 days to complete. However, it depends on how fit you are as some people have completed it in 3 days.
If you have ever seen pictures of Mount Fuji, you would know that this is more than just a mountain. It’s a natural wonder and one of the most famous places in Japan. It’s also one of the best places to go hiking in Japan. If you want to witness the amazing beauty of Mount Fuji, the best time to visit this place is from July to August. During this time, the weather is generally dry, which means you will get to see the majestic beauty of this place without any hindrance due to bad weather. It’s best to visit during the week as the weekends are very crowded. You can easily get there by car, train, or plane. However, the best way to see the beauty of this place is to hike up the trails that lead to the summit of the mountain. There are around 7 trails on the mountain, but the most popular trail is the Yoshida Trail.
Yudanaka Onsen and the Shima-Shima trail
If you are looking for a great place to go hiking with your family, you can’t go wrong with Yudanaka Onsen. This quaint little mountain village in the Yuzawa area of Niigata Prefecture is generally known for its hot springs. However, it’s also a great place to go hiking in Japan. This place is home to the Shima-Shima trail, which is about 3 kilometers long and connects Yudanaka Onsen to the Shima Forest. This trail is relatively easy and can be completed by both adults and children. So, if you want to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of city life for a while and just relax in the lap of nature, Yudanaka Onsen is a perfect place to go.
The Kiso Nakamura trail and the Kiso Valley
The Kiso Valley is a place that will take you back in time. This valley is located in the Nagano Prefecture and is surrounded by dense forests and snow-capped mountains. This valley was the center of the Kiso clan during the Sengoku period. This period is also known as the Warring States period when Japan was in a state of civil war. This was a time when the place was controlled by powerful samurai lords and was a separate country from the rest of Japan. If you want to experience the serenity of this place, then going hiking in the Kiso Valley is the best way to go about it. Many hiking trails pass through the Valley including the Kiso Nakamura trail. This is one of the most popular trails in Japan and takes visitors through breathtaking landscapes that feel like they are straight out of a fairy tale.
If you love nature and want to spend some time away from the hustle-and-bustle of city life, then hiking is the perfect way to do so. There are many places in Japan where you can go hiking. These include Shikoku Henro Trail, Mount Fuji, Yudanaka Onsen and the Shima-Shima trail, the Kiso Nakamura trail, and the Kiso Valley. So, choose any of these places to go hiking and get away from it all for a while!