FAQs

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 help you with trip planning, give updated info about the latest trail conditions, and can even advice you on places to stay and what to pack. I cannot, however, book any accommodation for you, as that requires a travel agency license. Why spend hours searching for information online when you can just spend a few minutes connecting with me and letting me do the hard part.

When is the best season to hike in Japan?

Japan offers excellent conditions for year round pursuits IF you choose the right part of Japan to visit. While the summer heat is unbearable in Tokyo and the other major cities, the Japan Alps offers much more manageable temperatures once you get above 2500 vertical meters in height. In addition, eastern Hokkaido is also relatively cool compared to the intense humidity in the rest of Japan. Check out my guidebook to the Japan Alps for all you need to know.

Does Japan have dangerous animals in the mountains?

While bears have quite the fearsome reputation in Japan, your chances of encountering while out on the trail are very slim. I have climbed over 300 mountains in Japan and have only seen one bear while hiking (and it was in the middle of a ski resort at that). Your biggest worry should be the giant hornet (Ōsusumebachi) whose stings can sometimes prove fatal. They are active between September and November and are often attracted to the color black. If stung, seek immediate medical attention.  In addition, the pit viper (mamushi) is a poisonous snake found throughout Honshū and usually slithers away when seen, but they can sometimes hide among leaf litter and will strike if stepped on. Bites should be treated immediately.