Now that Japan’s hills and mountains have begun shedding their winter coats, it’s time to pull those trail running shoes out of the closet and hit the trails. Japan’s refreshing, colorful spring season is ideal for trail running. International runners have discovered this, as evident by the number of entries for this year’s Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji (UTMF), which has seen participants from overseas more than doubled in 2014.
There’s no question early spring in Japan is special, when pink cherry blossoms adorn trees in parks, hills and mountains. The intense beauty is fleeting, however; spring showers or breezes will blow petals from their branches, forming a pink canopy trail runners can enjoy on the trails.
Fresh young flowers and newly sprouting leaves and plants start appearing, and the fresh spring air adds to the trail running bliss. Late spring temperatures are pleasant and generally dry until tsuyu (rainy season) arrives and the summer humidity begins toset in. Here are three fantastic courses to get you moving during this glorious season.