Hiking & Trekking Guide
Hiking in Japan offers beautiful views and unforgettable experiences. To ensure a safe and comfortable hiking experience, proper preparation is essential, so here are a few things to keep in mind.
The things you may need depend on the season and location. Japan’s climate varies greatly by region, and these changes can be even more pronounced at high altitudes.
The difficulty and maintenance of hiking and trekking courses can also vary; some may be gentle, with well-maintained routes suitable for any level of experience, while others may be natural and rugged, with overgrown routes that require special equipment and an advanced level of experience and fitness. Some courses might also require the company of a certified guide to safely navigate. Choose a route that best aligns with your level of experience and interests.
For an Enjoyable Hiking and Trekking Experience
Once you have settled on a route, be sure to gather the equipment necessary to ensure your safety and comfort. Weather can change suddenly in mountainous areas so try to plan for any conditions you may encounter. It is also important to note that unless you are hiking on a walking trail or a route with a boardwalk, you need to complete a hiking registration. Please see your planned route's corresponding website for details.
Seasonality is also important to consider, not only for preparation but also for the incredible scenery. Spring sees snow melt off the lower peaks and greenery return. Summer is peak climbing season, with weather suitable for high altitude hikes, and alpine plants and flowers are in bloom. Mountains around the country blaze in vivid hues of crimson and gold in autumn, and winter offers the opportunity to enjoy fine weather on lower peaks, as well as snow shoe hiking.
Depending on the hiking route, there may be "yamagoya," mountain huts where climbers can stay, as well as simple toilets along the route. The availability and use of mountain huts, and the frequency of toilets, can vary from peak to peak, so please confirm in advance.
To learn more about Japan’s natural diversity, consider hiring a guide to accompany you on your hike. In addition to enriching your understanding, it can help ensure your comfort and safety.
Preserving Our Precious Environment
One of the highlights of hiking is encountering Japan’s diverse wildlife. To preserve the biodiversity of Japan’s parks and mountains, please confirm and follow any rules and regulations in place along your hiking route. A good rule of thumb is to “take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.” Do not disturb the environment by removing anything, including plants, animals, or objects such as stones, branches, and the like. Please don't feed the animals, or leave any garbage behind. Litter can damage the ecosystem, and leftover food can attract pests. Be mindful of the environment while enjoying Japan's great outdoors.