THINGS TO DO: Scenic Hiking Trails in Japan

Japan has a rich culture and a storied past. However, the country has more to offer than the usual torii gates, ancient temples, and minimalist castles. Japan is a beautiful country that has several parks and trails for nature lovers and outdoorsy visitors. Here are some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country.

Mount Takao

If you don’t want to travel too far from Tokyo, Mount Takao is an excellent choice. The mountain isn’t high, just under 600m, making it an ideal day trip away from the frenetic pace of the metropolis. The trail is easy and scenic, especially during spring and autumn. For those lucky enough to ascend during a clear day, you’ll get beautiful views of Mount Fuji.

Daibutsu Trail

This trail located in Kamakura allows you to hit two birds with one stone as it takes you through nature and historical sites. Following the path will lead you to Hase or Kita-Kamakura, depending on which point you start. Regardless of which part you begin, make sure to drop by the most recognizable attraction in Kamakura, Big Buddha.


This peak in the Japanese Alps is a popular one for locals as it is a bit more challenging. You may need to spend a night in the mountain before making the final ascent. You have the option to set up camp or sleep in a hut. The trek starts with an easy trail that cuts through fields before turning into a challenge as you make your way to the top. The hike that many local and foreign visitors usually take is the Yarisawa Valley-Kamikochi one. After conquering the summit, your reward is a spectacular bird’s eye view of the surroundings.

Mount Asahi

This mountain in Hokkaido is an easy, but beautiful trail. The slow ascent provides you with scenic views which will make you forget that you’re almost at the top. The best time to go is during the summer season, but the ropeway makes the peak accessible regardless of the season.


Hokkaido has more to offer visitors; it has trails that lead to spectacular sceneries. One mountain to include in your itinerary is Shiretoko. The trail will take you through the mountains and some of Japan’s most spectacular sceneries. You can’t help but stop and stare to just admire nature’s beauty. You have the option to book a tour with a guide or if you’re an adventurous person, go on your own to explore.

Mount Hiei

Kyoto has many cultural and historical attractions worth visiting and often included in Itineraries. It also has destinations nature lovers will like, one of these is Mount Hiei. The mountain is just over 800m high and is an easy day trip from the city. You have the option to either take the cable car up or hike. Regardless of how you go, you’ll see beautiful views of nature. Raccoons and/or monkeys might accompany you if you decide to walk.

Kiso Valley (Magome-Tsumago)

This leisurely and marked trail combines nature and history in one trip. This is an ancient route that led to Edo. A lush forest is right between the two quaint villages of Magome and Tsumago. Take a leisurely trek through nature before reaching either village. Imagine merchants, the imperial court and even peasants making their way through this path. It takes approximately up to three hours to finish. You also have the option to take the bus to Magome from Tsumago or vice-versa.

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is the most recognizable view in all of Japan. There have been many photos, paintings, souvenirs, poems and articles written about it. Climbing season starts in the summer, this is the time when weather permits an ascent to its peak. You can start your trip from different trails after arriving from Tokyo. Spend a night in the mountain to soak everything in and watch the spectacular sunrise.

Harima Alps

If you want to see a bird’s eye views of Osaka, this is the place to do so. The trek may take up to six hours, longer if you linger in some places to take pictures or just enjoy nature. Once you get high enough, you’ll get stunning views of the bay. You’ll see the beautiful contrast of nature and the concrete jungle below.

Tateyame Kurobe Alpine Route

This beautiful trail is a must if ever you’re in Japan. You’ll get spectacular vistas of the surrounding mountains and meadows. Autumn is the best time to visit as you’ll see a gamut of colors, whites, reds, oranges and yellows, and the combination of snow-capped peaks and the season’s foliage. A day trip is possible and is often the choice of many. Take a combo of buses, cable cars and walking to visit all the spots.

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