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In such a mountainous country, hiking is the natural choice of outdoor activities for visitors to Japan. Hiking the endless mountain  ranges is a fantastic way to appreciate the country's true beauty - from the changing seasons (autumnal leaves and cherry blossom trees) through to the hospitality of the people in the rural prefectures.

Every year in July and August, thousands of Japanese and international visitors alike make the climb to the top of Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest and most revered mountain. From hiking the picturesque trails of UNESCO World Heritage listed Yakushima in Kagoshima prefecture, through to the Japan Alps in Nagano, there is no shortage of mountains to conquer nor trails to follow.

If it is a religious pilgrimage you are interested in, there are 88 Buddhist temples that form part of a 40 day hike around Shikoku Island. Or travel to the spiritual Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, a set of World Heritage listed trails around Wakayama prefecture. The tranquil ambience will carry you away to another world.

 

Yakushima Island, Japan

Where to go hiking in Japan?

Some of our favourite areas for hiking in Japan include:

The Kumano Kodo UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage trails in Wakayama. For more information about these trails, including maps and accommodation information, please visit www.tb-kumano.jp/en/kumano-kodo.

Shikoku Henro 88 Temple Pilgrimage Route. Find out more about the full route and 'shukubo' temple lodgings here: wwwtb.mlit.go.jp/shikoku/88navi/en/.

Japan's very own forest island, Yakushima, which has fantastic hiking trails through its cedar tree forests. Find out more information about how reach Yakushima and where to hike here: www.yakumonkey.com.

The Japanese central Alps mountain range is especially picturesque in autumn, when the leaves change from green to hues of amber, red and gold. Discover the best locations for hiking in this region here: www.chuo-alps.com/lang/en.