Hiking and Trekking in the Japan Alps and Mount Fuji
Northern, Central and Southern Alps
English-language guidebook to the Japan Alps, featuring 27 walks and treks in the North, Central and South Alps, and the Mt Fuji area. Routes range from short, easy walks to long, tough treks and thrilling scrambles. Covers popular areas of Hakuba, Tateyama, Kamikochi, Kawaguchiko. With full information on travel, camping, mountain huts and more.
SeasonsMostly summer and autumn routes (from July until late October), with a handful of spring and year-round walks.
CentresHakuba, Murodō and Kamikōchi (North Alps), Komagane (Central Alps), Hirogawara and Sawarajima (South Alps), Kawaguchiko and Mt Fuji area
DifficultyRoutes range from short and easy walks to long, tough treks and committing, steep scrambles. No specialist equipment is required, although crampons are recommended for snow fields.
Must SeeYari-ga-take, Shirouma, Hotaka, Tateyama, Norikura, Kita-dake and the iconic Mt. Fuji; the alpine hubs of Kamikōchi and Murodō
Guidebook to the magnificent Japan Alps, which stretch across the middle of the main island of Honshu, and iconic Mount Fuji. The guide describes nine day-walks and thirteen treks of 2–8 days covering the North, Central and South Alps, as well as the four main routes up Mount Fuji – Japan's highest mountain at 3776m – and a further route on neighbouring Mount Kurodake.
The routes visit many of the region's key summits, including several over 3000m. They are graded according to difficulty, although several entail steep ascents and difficult terrain and a few include scrambling and exposure, calling for a sure foot and a good head for heights. Comprehensive step-by-step route descriptions are accompanied by clear mapping. The Japan Alps and Mount Fuji boast a well-developed walking infrastructure, and the routes make use of the many mountain huts and campgrounds, full details of which are given in the guide. Some also include the opportunity to visit a traditional hot-spring bath for a refreshing soak after your hike.
You will find all the information you will need to plan a successful walking or trekking holiday, with a wealth of advice on travel, bases, accommodation and facilities. There are additional notes on plants and wildlife, the history of hiking in Japan and safety in the mountains, as well as full mountain-hut listings and a helpful glossary. Inspirational colour photography completes the package, offering a taste of the breathtaking mountain vistas to whet your appetite.
Preparations and practicalities
When to go
Getting to Japan
Getting around Japan
Mountain huts and camping
Food and drink
Tourist information offices
What to take
Maps and GPS
The typical hiking day
Health and safety
Using this guide
All about the Japan Alps and Mt Fuji
Location and climate
Geology and landscape
Plants and wildlife
History of hiking in Japan
The North (Kita) Alps
Walk 1 Mt Shirouma-dake
Trek 1 Mt Shirouma-dake and Hakuba-Yari Onsen
Walk 2 Mt Tateyama
Walk 3 Mt Oku-dainichi-dake
Trek 2 Mt Tsurugi-dake
Trek 3 North Alps traverse
Walk 4 Mt Yake-dake
Walk 5 Mt Nishiho-Doppyō
Trek 4 Mt Oku-Hotaka-dake and Karasawa Cirque
Trek 5 Mt Yari-ga-take
Trek 6 Mt Chō-ga-take and Mt Jōnen-dake
Trek 7 Mt Kasa-ga-take
Walk 6 Mt Norikura-dake
The Central (Chūō) Alps
Walk 7 Mt Kiso-koma-ga-take
Trek 8 Central Alps traverse
The South (Minami) Alps
Walk 8 Mt Kai-koma-ga-take
Walk 9 Mt Senjō-ga-take
Trek 9 Mt Kita-dake
Trek 10 Mt Hō-ō
Trek 11 Mt Arakawa-Higashidake (Mt Warusawa-dake) and Mt Akaishi-dake
Trek 12 Mt Kamikōchi-dake and Mt Hijiri-dake
Trek 13 South Alps traverse
Walk 10 Mt Fuji – Yoshida route
Walk 11 Mt Fuji – Subashiri route
Walk 12 Mt Fuji – Gotemba route
Walk 13 Mt Fuji – Fujinomiya route
Walk 14 Mt Kuro-dake
Appendix A Route summary table – walks
Appendix B Route summary table – treks
Appendix C Mountain huts
Appendix D Glossary
Appendix E Useful contacts and further resources
Appendix F Further reading
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Tom Fay is a British writer and teacher based in Osaka, and he has been living in Japan for well over a decade. Growing up in the hills of North Wales, the mountains of Snowdonia were his first outdoor 'love', and he still returns there year after year. He has since hiked and climbed in many places including Scotland, Iceland, China, South Korea, New Zealand, the Himalayas and every corner of Japan. Tom writes about travel and the outdoors for a variety of publications and media outlets, and is the author of a popular guidebook called 'Must-See Japan'. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.View Articles and Books by Tom Fay
Wes Lang has been exploring Japan's mountains since relocating to the country in 2001. In 2008 he became the first American (and one of only a handful of foreigners) to climb the Hyakumeizan, Japan's 100 Famous Mountains. He has since gone on to complete the Kansai Hyakumeizan (100 mountains of the Kansai region) and is currently attempting to climb the highest mountain in each of Japan's 47 Prefectures. He is the founder of Hiking in Japan, a website providing comprehensive hiking information for the Hyakumeizan and beyond. His travels have taken him to the mountains of South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand and throughout the US. Wes lives in Osaka with his Japanese wife and young daughter.View Guidebooks by Wes Lang
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