3 beautiful places for Hiking in Japan

guest post by Louise Brown

Japan offers many beautiful hiking trails. After all, the land is full of mountains, volcanic peaks, valleys, and many other landscapes.


What’s more is that most of these places have some significant religious and cultural influence that will make your journey even richer.

#1 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails

Kumano Kodo is a network of pilgrimage routes in South Kansai Region, particularly in the mountainous Kii Peninsula. The trails on each course vary in difficulty level and will lead you to any of the Kumano shrines.


Though the intention is to reach these shrines, the trails in themselves are quite a religious experience.

There are five different routes: Nakahechi, Ohechi, Iseji, Kohechi, and Omine Okugake.

• Nakahechi is somewhat an easy hike that ends an extraordinary view of the shine and the torii gate. The trail goes through hills, forested landscapes, and some local villages. It starts from Tanabe and is about 35 kilometers to Hong.

• Ohechi is an entirely different view because it follows the coast of the Kii Peninsula. However, parts of the original route no longer exist because of modern roads being built. Still, it offers quite an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. It starts from Tanabe and ends in Nachi Taisha.


• The Iseji trails start from the east coast of Ki Peninsula. It connects Ise shrine to the Kumano. Like Ohechi, parts of the original trail were replaced with modern roads, but you will still encounter many scenic views. It will bring you through a bamboo forest, rice fields, and some beaches.

• Kohechi is a trail that connects Kumano with Mount Koya. This trail is 70 kilometers long and is quite challenging because of the many steep slopes. There are hardly any lodging or villages along the way, so better not do it alone.

• The Omine Okugake trail is another challenging and dangerous, even to the most experienced hikers. It connects Kumano to Mount Omine and Yoshina, which is in the Nara Prefecture. Like Kohechi, this trail barely passes any towns or villages.

#2 Mt. Fuji

One of Japan’s most famous places is an almost perfectly shaped volcano, Mt. Fuji.


It’s also the highest peak of the country, rising to 3776 meters. Many people climb this active volcano each year, especially during July and August (hiking season). Outside of these months are not a safe time to hike up the volcano, but there are some shorter trails around the area. Of course, it’s nothing like reaching the summit of Mt. Fuji, but they’re still pretty amazing trails.

The climb to the summit doesn’t require any particular skill. It has some steep and rocky points, as well as areas where there may be falling rocks and sudden gusts of wind. However, the most challenging part of the climb is that it is exhausting. Also, the air gets thinner as you get higher up, which doesn’t help with the exhaustion.

Other than that, the ascent will be relatively manageable. You may not need to hire a guide because you’ll probably be hiking with many other people. There are four different trails up to the summit and with ten different stations. Overall, it takes roughly about 5-10 hours to ascend, and about 2-6 hours to descend, depending on your route. For more information, you can go here.

#3 Yakushima

Japan is full of beautiful places, but Yakushima has got to be one of the best ones. After all, it isn’t a UNESCO World Heritage site for nothing. On the coast are beautiful beaches and onsens (hot springs), while the deeper parts of the island are mountainous. With the diversity it offers, it’s got to be one of the best places to hike in Japan.


There are many trails all throughout the island. One of the most popular ones is the one that takes you to the oldest cedar tree in the Isle, Jomonsugi. It’s only 25 meters tall, but the trunk is huge – 5 meters in diameter! On your way to Jomonsugi, you will see other famous trees, including the Meotosugi, which looks like a couple embracing. Then there’s Diosugi, one of the largest ones on the island, and Wilson’s Stump, which is a hollow remains of a giant cedar.

Aside from hiking, the island also offers other activities and attractions. To name a few, there’s snorkeling, waterfalls, hot springs, and scuba diving. Around the months of June and July, you might be able to see some sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs. But you will need to make special arrangements or guided tours to see them.


Now, most of these trails are not for the faint-of-heart. It will require some levels of fitness and preparation. You will need a backpack and comfortable footwear fit for the hike and the weather. You will also need proper protective clothes, especially for rain and for the cold.

So, there you have it – three of the most beautiful places in Japan for hiking. There is so much more, but this is what we’ve got. We’d love to hear about your experiences and your favorite trails too. So, let us know by commenting below.

Author Bio

image012Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associates blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow me on Twitter and on Google+.

Hot Springs Rim, Big Bend TX

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Note: We were there Jan 2017. Accessibility may change depending on what happens with Trump’s border wall promise.

One highlight of Big Bend National Park you should not miss are the Hot Springs.

A reminder of the park’s past volcanic turmoil, the Langford Hot Springs (or just “hot springs”; everyone will know what you’re talking about) is a small, jacuzzi-sized pool of naturally occurring 105°F (41°C) water from deep below the earth. …

Edge of the Rio Grande
Edge of the Rio Grande

It’s a short walk from the parking lot. Bring a flashlight at night.

Even better is to hike the Hot Springs Rim trail first. Finishing with a dip.

The trailhead features the amazingly well preserved buildings from the Livingston family days.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

I started up the Hot Springs Trail.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

Continued on to the Hot Springs Rim Trail high above the Rio Grande.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

I left a Summit Stone at a nice viewpoint.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

Relaxed there looking over the river into Mexico. Very tranquil.

Hotsprings Trail, Big Bend

I backtracked to the Hot Springs just in time for dusk. 🙂

This is the life.

independent trek – Huayhuash Circuit, Peru

Megan “Hashbrown” Maxwell did Huayhuash alone and independently. She’s one tough hiker.

Still … she felt Huayhuash was the toughest hike of her life.

The Huayhuash Circuit is a beast of a trek. I would only recommend it if you have done a trek before and have an idea of what you’re getting into. I would only recommend going guide-less if you are at a confident level of backpacking experience, have taken the time to acclimatize, and are physically fit and able to carry a pack loaded with a week of food.

The guidebook for this trail is Peru’s Cordilleras Blanca & Huayhuash, available on Amazon. I found this to have all the information I needed …

This circuit goes over a pass everyday, ranging from 15,400 to 16,500 feet (4,690 to 5,050 meters). This means you will be hiking slower than usual, due to the altitude, and the walking itself is physically taxing. This also means that you will have spectacular views of the Andes every single day. …

Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit: Planning and Preparing


Huayhuash map

That adventure was the best hike of my life. If you want know more, click over to our Huayhuash information page.

Roraima trek, Venezuela

Stingy Nomads:

Mount Roraima is the highest of the many Table Mountains (tepuis) scattered over the grasslands of The Grand Sabana. The strange rock formations, quarts fields that look like a diamond encrusted fairy land, insect eating plants and many high waterfalls gives the whole area unreal feel and have been an inspiration to writers and movie makers. It is thought to have inspired Arthur Cone Doyle’s book ‘The Lost World’, published in 1912 …

Tours are normally 6 to 8 days, taking three days to reach the top, then one to three days exploring the top and it takes two more days to come down the same trail. You cannot hike this route independent since a guide is compulsory. There are many companies in Santa Elena that offers all-inclusive tours; you can also try to find an independent guide to lead your trek. …

Roraima trek on a budget



Ausangate and the Rainbow Mountains, Peru

travel to walk:

The Ausangate circuit is a trek that is relative untouched by the massive tourism industry in Cusco. Because of that, this is one a hike where there is plenty of solitude. On the flip side, it is much tougher as it is about 1 km higher than Cusco with passes that go over 5 km in elevation (16k ft). …

… the trail is not marked and there are no signs to discriminate trails the locals use trail around the mountain. So, map skills, GPS, or a guide is imperative for a trek like this. All of this is pretty manageable for experienced backpackers.

However, we decided to add an additional layer to this already challenging task. There is information out there that the Rainbow Mountains are nearby and provides a side trip possibility. …


Rainbow Mountains

Read the entire trip report if you are planning to do this trek yourself one day – Ausangate and the Rainbow Mountains

It’s one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Adventure Junkies – Huayhuash trek, Peru

… The snow-capped peaks here are really high (many well over 6.000 mts – 19,500 ft) and the feeling of remoteness is fantastic. …

The whole circuit takes anywhere from 8 to 14 days to complete as there are different routes available. There is only one small town where you can re-stock on supplies which means you will need to carry all your food for 7-8 days if walking independently.

For that reason, most of the hikers decide to go with an organized tour. But hey, we are the Adventure Junkies. We can’t let a donkey carry our stuff up the mountain!



Check out our Huayhuash Circuit information page.