It’s no secret that Japan’s natural environment is abundant: lush greenery, winding rivers and towering mountains cover its rural quarters. The country is also home to countless mountain climbing and hiking spots which beckon raids of tourists, both local and foreign, throughout the year.
Hankyu Travel International has compiled a list of the most popular mountain climbing and hiking spots in Japan which are open to the public from June through to August.
It is known that Japan’s best season for these activities is seated in the latter half of June. This is the time that brings in the most people who are seeking out to touch the verdure, inhale the sweet natural air, gaze at the blooming flowers and gasp at the gorgeous view atop a mountain apex. So, which spots are the most popular? Let’s take a look…
1st Place: Oze (Gunma Prefecture/Fukushima Prefecture/Niigata Prefecture/Tochigi Prefecture)
Betwixt two mountains towering over 1,400 meters high lies the Oze. This place encompasses many areas, including the Oze Marshland, the Hiuchigatake stratovolcano, and Mont Shibutsu, but the entire location is collectively known as Oze. As you traverse through green region you can enjoy the beautiful green landscape and marsh―which have been preserved with consistent and thorough care―and follow the unending rows of trees which stretch to a horizon. The area is also home to numerous seasonal flowers. From May to June the Asian skunk-cabbage blooms, a flower which appears in the famous song Natsu no Omoide, as well as the Japanese bird cherry. Through July and August you can spot the Japanese iris, the yellow nikkōkisuge, white miyamashi shidō, and more.
Oze Tours (Japanese): https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E5%B0%BE%E7%80%AC/?p_baitai=9597
2nd Place: Rishiri Island & Rebun Island (Hokkaido)
On the northwestern tip of Hokkaido is Rishiri Island, also nicknamed “The Floating Island of Flowers” in Japanese. It gets its name from its 300+ varieties of alpine plants which blossom in early summer. If you do a round trip of the Momoiwa Observatory and Kinbai Valley or Shiretoko you will be met by copious plants as well as get to view Mount Rishiri. Just south of Rebun Island is Rishiri Island which is home to Mount Rishiri, a mountain famous for appearing on Shiroi Koibito cookies. The mountain is open for climbing but it is to be noted that its degree of difficulty is high. Its recommended that beginners do a lap of Himenuma Pond which takes just 20 minutes, or climb the easier Pon Mountain. Pon comes from the Ainu language and means “small.”
Rishiri Island & Rebun Island Tours (Japanese): https://www.hankyu-travel.com/hokkaido/rishiri/?p_baitai=9597
3rd Place: Mount Fuji (Yamanashi Prefecture/Shizuoka Prefecture)
A symbol of Japan, Mount Fuji stands at 3776.24m high. Whether it’s to watch the sunrise from the peak of the mountain or bask in awe at the sea of clouds, for many people climbing Mount Fuji something you need to do at least once in your lifetime. When mountain climbing season starts here you can expect to see a lot of people gearing up ready for the climb. Mount Fuji opened for climbing on July 1 last year and closed on September 10. It’s announce in June every year when it’s open for business. Out of the four main routes, the Yoshida Trail, which is home to lots of mountain huts, is the most popular. On the Yamanashi Prefecture side of the mountain, you can see the mountain peak at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. If you book a tour with Hankyu Travel International you can be accompanied by a mountain guide as well as spend two nights in the mountain hut.
Mount Fuji Tours (Japanese): https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/fujisan/?p_baitai=9597
4th Place: Shiretoko Peninsula (Hokkaido)
The Shiretoko Peninsula is situated on the easternmost part of Hokkaido. It is known for its eight picturesque sights and tourist spots: Shiretokogo Lake, the Shiretokogo Pass, Oshinkoshin Waterfall, Kamuiwakkano Falls, Furepe Falls, Oronko Rock, Yuhidai, and Cape Puyuni. Shiretokogo Lake in particular is a must-visit destination, surrounded by the peninsula’s old-growth forest where once can enjoy gazing across the lake and the mountain range of Shiretoko. There is also a walk that can be walked along with prior booking. It runs from the Shiretoko National Park Nature Center to Furepe Falls. While on the walk you might even spot some Yezo sika deer.
The places on the list offer courses that cater to beginners too, allowing for everyone to enjoy the outdoors that Japan has to offer. There are more entries to the list too on Hankyu’s official website. If you’re travelling to Japan this summer, why not have a go at mountain climbing or enjoy a peaceful hike?
Hankyu Travel International Hiking, Mountain Climbing & Trekking Tours (Japanese): https://www.hankyu-travel.com/hiking/kokunai/?p_baitai=9597
Hankyu Travel International Japan Travel & Tours (Japanese): https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/?p_baitai=9597
Hankyu Travel International Travel Website (Japanese): https://www.hankyu-travel.com/?p_baitai=9597
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