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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Nature

Mt Asama (Nagano) 浅間山

Get up close to Honshu's most active volcano

At 2,568 meters, restless Mt. Asama can often be seen with smoke curling skyward. It last erupted in 2015 but has since calmed down. An excursion here will give you a new view of the Northern Japan Alps.

Don't Miss

  • The otherworldly volcanic landscape of Onioshidashi Park
  • Reaching Mt. Asama's smoky summit

How to Get There

Mt. Asama is accessible by bus.

The town of Komoro is a frequent starting point for hikes up Mt. Asama. From Karuizawa , the Shinano Tetsudo Line runs to Komoro Station which takes about 25 minutes. From there, a bus runs to the trailhead at Takamine Kogen Onsen.

Explore Onioshidashi Park

Lava flows from Mt. Asama's massive 1783 eruption created the surreal expanse of Onioshidashi Park. The landscape is a chaotic mass of jagged volcanic formations, with occasional patches of greenery pushing through. Plenty of walking trails with superb views of looming Mt. Asama make this area a great place to start. Asamayama Kannondo Temple is also located here. Dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of compassion, it was built in remembrance of those who perished in the disaster. A visit to the Asama Volcano Museum will give you insight into the area's geological activity.

Get a stunning view near the top of the mountain

From the trailhead at Takamine Kogen Onsen, the trek to the summit takes about seven hours. While there are some steep sections, it should be manageable for those of average fitness. You'll pass through dense forest before moving above the tree line into the mountain's volcanic realm. From that point on, there are fantastic views of the Northern Japan Alps, the Yatsugatake Mountains , and beyond. Eventually, you'll reach an area near the top of the mountain that's roped off, warning you not to get too close to the smoking crater.

Cautions and advice

At the time of writing, there's a level two warning in place for Mt. Asama from the Japan Meteorological Agency, meaning that “caution is advised around the crater.” Please check the current conditions before you head out. Bring a map, as well as warm and waterproof clothing, even in summer. Weather in the Japanese mountains can change in a flash.

Don't forget the hot spring after your climb

Be sure to check the return bus times. If possible, try to leave time for a hot spring bath at Takamine Kogen Onsen after your climb. An outdoor bath in the mountain air at 2,000 meters is unforgettable.

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