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Japan

There are 8,153 named mountains in Japan. The highest and the most prominent mountain is Mount Fuji. More than seventy percent of Japan’s territory is covered by towering volcanic peaks and snow-capped summits. For a long time these mountains traditionally have had only religious and cultural significance. The hiking culture has been thriving over the past couple of decades, so trains, buses, mountain huts and trailheads are easy to access and well-maintained.

Mount Fuji

Probably the best way to comprehend mountains of Japan is to read about 100 Most Famous Mountains of Japan. The greatest feature of this list is its diversity. A Japanese mountaineer and author Kyūya Fukuda, selected 100 celebrated Japanese mountains in his book based on a combination of grace, history, and individuality. Moreover only the mountains higher than 1,500 m (4,921ft) made it to the list.

Japan is located in one of the most seismically active regions of the world. Most of the country's mountains are volcanoes, and many of them are far from being dormant. Beware of closures due to volcanic activity and poisonous gases. On the good side, volcanic activity breeds numerous hot springs, so you can have a soak in a hot thermal bath of bliss.

Japanese Mountain Ranges

There are 26 major mountain ranges in Japan. The most famous is the Japanese Alps, especially after the Winter Olympics in 1998. The Japanese Alps encompass the Hida Mountains (飛騨山脈), the Kiso Mountains (木曽山脈), and the Akaishi Mountains (赤石山脈). These towering ranges include several peaks over 3,000m (9,843ft) in height, the tallest after Mount Fuji.

See detailed information on all the major mountain ranges of Japan.

Japanese Prefectures High Points

The top tier of administrative divisions are the 47 prefectural entities. You can see detailed information on every single peak in the prefecture on the official local government websites, just click on the scheme above or in the list below.

Hokkaido - the northernmost island

Honshu - the main and biggest island

Shikoku - the smallest of the major islands

Kyushu - the southernmost island

Hiking in Japan

  1. Japan stretches over 3,000 kilometers from north to south, with landscape ranging from mild hills to soaring higher than 3,000m rocky mountains, which results in a diverse range of climates. The hiking season differs a lot between regions. Some destinations allow hiking all year round while others could be reached only during a short summer time lapse.
  2. The most popular hiking trail mark is a coloured ribbon on a tree. The color used is almost always pink though sometimes white or blue ribbon is used to identify a specific trail.
  3. Most of the animals that you may encounter while hiking are not dangerous, however special care should be taken around bears (kuma), wild boars (inoshishi), monkeys (saru), and hornets (suzumebachi). Never approach or attempt to feed the animals. Hikers often wear bear bells to alert the animals of their presence and avoid surprise encounters.
  4. Don't deviate from the designated hiking trails. The unmarked grounds may be unsafe due to volcanic activity, poisonous gases or other hidden threats.