Hiking and Trekking in the Japan Alps and Mount Fuji

Northern, Central and Southern Alps

By Tom Fay, Wes Lang

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.



Mostly summer and autumn routes (from July until late October), with a handful of spring and year-round walks.


Hakuba, Murodō and Kamikōchi (North Alps), Komagane (Central Alps), Hirogawara and Sawarajima (South Alps), Kawaguchiko and Mt Fuji area


Routes 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 See

Must See

Yari-ga-take, Shirouma, Hotaka, Tateyama, Norikura, Kita-dake and the iconic Mt. Fuji; the alpine hubs of Kamikōchi and Murodō
8 Mar 2019
17.2 x 11.6 x 2.1cm
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    Preparations and practicalities
    When to go
    Getting to Japan
    Getting around Japan
    Rail passes
    Mountain huts and camping
    Food and drink
    Hot springs
    Tourist information offices
    What to take
    Luggage forwarding
    Maps and GPS
    The typical hiking day
    Mountain etiquette
    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
    Hakuba Area
    Walk 1 Mt Shirouma-dake
    Trek 1 Mt Shirouma-dake and Hakuba-Yari Onsen
    Tateyama Area
    Walk 2 Mt Tateyama
    Walk 3 Mt Oku-dainichi-dake
    Trek 2 Mt Tsurugi-dake
    Trek 3 North Alps traverse
    Hotaka Area
    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
    Norikura Area
    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
    North Area
    Walk 8 Mt Kai-koma-ga-take
    Walk 9 Mt Senjō-ga-take
    Trek 9 Mt Kita-dake
    Trek 10 Mt Hō-ō
    South Area
    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
    Mt Fuji
    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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Fay Tom

Tom Fay

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
Lang Wes

Wes Lang

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