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A closer look at Best Day Walks Japan

March 1, 2021

My time in Japan coincides directly with the history of Lonely Planet’s Hiking in Japan guidebook. I arrived on these shores in March of 2001, just one month after the release of the first edition of the guide. I soon picked up a copy of the teal and black cover and immediately set out to […]

Japan Alps Update: COVID-19

July 15, 2020

Last updated: July 3, 2022 Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, things are starting to somewhat return to normal in the Japan Alps. While most of the huts have now reopened, they all require advanced booking. Those without advanced booking may be charged extra, so please keep thing in mind. Visitors to the Japan Alps this summer […]


December 17, 2019

Can you give me hiking advice to help me plan my trip? I’ll be more than happy to help you with your trip, but please keep in mind that I do charge a modest fee for my time. After all, you wouldn’t go to a lawyer and ask for free advice, would you? I can […]

Mt. Tenjō (天上山)

April 4, 2016

Mt. Tenjō is the highest mountain on Kōzu island in the Izu island chain south of Tokyo. Even though it’s only 570 meters above sea level, the peak offers alpine scenery, volcanic lakes, and an abundance of wild flowers throughout the year.   Getting to the trailhead: There are two different ferry ports on the island, […]

Izu islands hikes (伊豆諸島)

March 26, 2016

The Izu islands are a great weekend getaway from the crowds and chaos of Tokyo. Overnight ferries from Takeshiba port in Tokyo mean you can get a relatively early start and make the most of your time. Once I finish visiting every island in the chain, I’ll get the trail descriptions written up. Until then, […]

Mt. Ashitaka (愛鷹山)

February 27, 2016

The Ashitaka mountain range sits on the edge of Fuji city just a short distance south of Mt. Fuji itself. The route described here offers the best unobstructed southernly views of Mt. Fuji from any mountain in Japan, as well as allows hikers to experience a taste of the deciduous hardwood forests that once covered […]

Hachijō-fuji (八丈富士山)

March 21, 2015

Hachijō-fuji is a dormant conical volcano that towers over Hachijō island in the southern part of the Izu island chain. The peak offers a rare chance to circumnavigate a volcanic crater while admiring the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. Special Note: Although the trailhead starts at 500 vertical meters above the sea, the recommended way […]

Mt. Haruna-fuji (榛名富士山)

November 24, 2013

Just as the name implies, Haruna-fuji is a miniature version of Mt. Fuji, with views of the real Fuji from the summit on clear days. Although the top has been wrecked by the addition on a gondola and a TV antenna, the hike through the wonderful bamboo-grass lined deciduous forests is highly recommended. The hike: […]

Mt. Kurikoma (栗駒山)

November 8, 2013

Mt. Kurikoma is an active volcano straddling the border of Iwate and Akita Prefectures in northeastern Honshu. The views of Mt. Chokai, the spectacular volcanic scenery, and the soothing hot springs make it a great place for a weekend getaway. The hike: When you get off the bus, walk a few meters to the hot […]

Mt. Eboshi (烏帽子岳)

March 18, 2013

Mt.  Eboshi, or Shinto priest hat peak, is a knobby mountain perched on the northern shores of Lake Haruna in central Gunma Prefecture. The steep hike is filled with pristine forests, wild bamboo grass, and enticing views of the lake directly below. The hike: From the bus stop, walk on the paved road (with the […]