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    • Spring
      • spring outdoor japan shinano discovery

        2022 Spring Tours and Travel

        Check out these green season tours and experiences across Japan!
        video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.

        Solace and Giant Salamanders in Akiota

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.

        2022 Art Events in Japan

        Two of Japan's biggest art events return this year: the Setouchi Triennale on the Seto Inland Sea Islands and Niigata's Echigo Tsumari Art Field.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.
    • Summer
      • Washi Papermaking Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Following the Paper Trail in Kochi

        Discover the traditional art of washi papermaking in Kochi with artist Rogier Uitenboogaart.
        Climbing Mt. Fuji Outdoor Japan

        Peaking in 2021: Climbing Mt. Fuji

        Thinking of climbing Mt. Fuji this summer? We talk to Mt. Fuji guides on best practices for scaling Japan's highest mountain.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
        Japan's Digital Nomads Van Life in Japan

        Japan’s Digital Nomads

        Adventure couple Ruth Aisling and Bappa Shota explores Japan by van.
    • Autumn
      • Pow Bar Founder Megumi Scott

        Beyond the Brand: Pow Bar

        An interview with Megumi Scott, the founder of Niseko brand Pow Bar.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
    • Winter
      • Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
        Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        video

        Hachimantai’s Powder History

        Discover powder and ski culture deep in Tohoku at Hachimantai.
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kansai to Kochi

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Solace and Giant Salamanders in Akiota

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
        Churamura Okinawa Sea Turtle Marine Conservation

        Churamura: Footprints in the Sand

        Churamura, an NPO in Okinawa, work to conserve marine life and protect endangered sea turtles in Japan's southernmost prefecture.
        Kawazu

        Fall in Love with Kawazu

        Enjoy waterfall hikes and hot springs, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood in Kawazu on the western coast of Izu Peninsula.
        Kaiyu Kochi Shikoku Outdoor Japan

        Snorkeling, Surfing and Sustainability in Koch...

        Enjoy the clear waters of Kochi by snorkeling and surfing while staying at a refurbished hotel committed to sustainability.
    • River and Lake
      • video

        Finding the Flow from Kan...

        Shikoku’s many mountains, valleys and proximity to the ocean has made it a hidden gem for rafting, kayaking and canyoning enthusiasts willing to take a step or two further from the Golden Route of Kyoto and Osaka.

        Solace and Giant Salamand...

        Just beyond Hiroshima City is a tranquil outdoor destination home to some of Japan's last remaining oosanshouo, the elusive giant salamander.
        sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Shower Climbing High Abov...

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawanobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
        Iriomote Yamaneko Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote’s Endanger...

        Iriomote Island, one of Japan's last untouched wild places, is home to the endangered yamaneko wildcat.
        Iriomote Outdoor Japan

        Iriomote Activity Guide

        A guide to Iriomote's outdoors, hiking, diving, cultural experiences and accommodation.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • Spring Skiing in Japan 2022

        It may be spring in Japan but you can still ski in select ski resorts open all the way to Golden Week.
        Indy Pass Outdoor Japan Tohoku

        The Resistance

        The Indy Pass arrives in Japan to bring avid riders to local resorts that punch above their weight class and offer varied terrain.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!
        video

        Hachimantai’s Powder History

        Discover powder and ski culture deep in Tohoku at Hachimantai.
    • Travel
      • sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Shower Climbing High Above Wakasa Bay

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawanobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.

        Market Watch: Oiso’s Shishimai Marche

        Check out this farmers' market in the beachside town of Oiso.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
    • Food and Drinks
      • sawa nobori wakasa fukuivideo

        Shower Climbing High Above Wakasa Bay

        Learn about the uniquely Japanese activity of sawanobori, navigating up rivers and waterfalls, in the Wakasa region of Fukui Prefecture.
        Kyoto Oni Trail Outdoor Japanvideo

        The Oni Trail: Hiking Coastal Kyoto

        The mystical oni is prevalent in Japanese children’s stories, usually as a way to scare kids straight. Adventure Travel Kyoto is shedding a new light on this folklore and developing a new hiking route in the countryside of Kyoto.

        Market Watch: Oiso’s Shishimai Marche

        Check out this farmers' market in the beachside town of Oiso.
        Shinano Town Outdoor Japan

        Go Deep into Shinano

        Discover Snow Country in Shinano Town in northern Nagano, popular for its deep powder but also its mountainous winter scenery.
        Protect our Winter POW Japan

        Protecting Japan’s Pow

        Professional snowboarder and environmentalist Goro Komatsu fights climate change with Protect our Winters Japan.
    • Races and Events
      • spring outdoor japan shinano discovery

        2022 Spring Tours and Travel

        Check out these green season tours and experiences across Japan!

        2022 Art Events in Japan

        Two of Japan's biggest art events return this year: the Setouchi Triennale on the Seto Inland Sea Islands and Niigata's Echigo Tsumari Art Field.

        2022 Spring Races & Festivals

        The start of the green season is a great time to start trail running, cycling and hiking. Check out these races, outdoor events and traditional festivals held this spring.
        Evergreen Outdoor Center Japan

        Japan Snow Guide: Winter 2022 Events & No...

        Check out the latest news and winter events held at ski resorts all over Japan in 2022!

Day Hikes from Tokyo

Whether you are traveling through Japan on a tight schedule or just need a quick escape from the city to clear your mind, there are plenty of options. Here are our top picks for the season.

Mt. Takao

One of the most convenient and family-friendly hikes, Mt. Takao has eight trails, six of which are designated as “nature study courses” ranging from easy to intermediate. There is a mid-point with a great beer garden, monkey park, shrines and food stalls you can reach via cable car or lift. 

If you prefer to walk, take Route 1 up before continuing to Route 4 for a stroll over a suspension bridge. Route 6, which goes directly from the base of the mountain to the top, is a slippery path alongside a stream with small waterfalls including Biwa Falls along the way. Round trip takes about three or four hours. 

From Mt. Takao’s peak, you can see Mt. Fuji and the Tanzawa Mountains to the south. Mt. Takao is part of the Mt. Jinba Trail, a five-hour hike passing by the peaks of Shiroyama and Kagenobuyama and ending at the 857-meter-high Mt. Jinba. 

Getting There: Mt. Takao’s trailhead is a five-minute walk from Takaosanguchi Station on the Keio Takao Line. The fee for the cable car that goes up to the mid-point is ¥480 for adults and ¥240 for children.

Mt. Otake

Located in Okutama, the western edge of Tokyo, Otake-san (1,267 meters) is one of Tokyo’s highest peaks. On a clear day especially before noon, you will be rewarded with a view of Mt. Fuji. 

Must-sees on this hike are two waterfalls, Nanayo Falls and the bigger Ayahiro Falls, a famous “power spot” used for takigyo (traditional waterfall meditation). To get to these falls, you go through the Rock Garden, a narrow, forested valley noted for its moss-covered rocks. It takes around an hour from Mt. Mitake but is relatively easy and child-friendly. 

Mt. Otake is another hour from the Rock Garden. The trail is not extreme, but be aware that the last stretch up is rocky and can be slippery. There is a shorter trail that leads you back to Mt. Mitake on a different route. Signs are written in English and Japanese. 

Getting There: Take the train to Mitake Station on the JR Ome Line, then bus (10 minutes) or walk (30-40 minutes) to the Mitake-san Cable Car Station. From there, ride the cable car (¥545) or walk on a paved road up to Mt. Mitake ( 929 meters).

Hyakuhirono Falls

The 40-meter-high Hyakuhiro Falls deep in Okutama is an impressive sight. If you start just past Kawanori Bridge, it takes about two-and-a-half hours to reach the falls from the Mt. Kawanori trailhead.

The first half takes you up a paved road before descending into the valley. The beauty of this trail is the solitude. Unlike Mt. Mitake and Mt. Takao, there are no vending machines, shrines, rest stops and food stalls lining the streets.  Follow the sign that says “Hyakuhiro-no-taki” in Japanese (百尋ノ滝). 

Be sure to wear proper hiking shoes as the latter half, especially the last half-hour, can be slippery. The icy waterfall is usually quiet except for the white-spotted char swimming in the streams and pools.

From the falls, you can continue your ascent up Mt. Kawanori (two hours) or head back to check out the karst limestone Nippara Cave, the largest in the Kanto Region. The cave extends more than 1,270 meters, of which 800 meters is accessible, and takes about 40 minutes to explore.  

Getting There: From Okutama Station, take the bus heading toward Kawanori Bashi (10 minutes) or walk (30-40 minutes) to the Mt. Kawanori trailhead.

Daibutsu Course

Kamakura may be famous for its traditional temples and well-preserved streets, but this seaside town also offers plenty of trails to explore in the nearby hills. Walk down the road past Hase’s famous Great Buddha statue to find a flight of stairs which is the start of the Daibutsu Course. This trail through Kamakura’s woods connects Hase to Kita-Kamakura’s Jochiji Temple and takes about one to two hours to complete. 

Enjoy views overlooking the ocean, parks and traditional temples and homes along the way, as well as a serene bamboo grove that is usually empty save a few locals gathering takenoko (baby bamboo shoots). If you’re feeling hungry after your hike, there are plenty of soba restaurants near Kita-Kamakura’s famous Engakuji Temple.

Getting There: Walk along the road toward the Daibutsu (Great Buddha) at Hase Station on the Enoshima Electric Railway. Five minutes down the road, you will find a flight of stairs on your right which leads to the trail.

Ten-en Trail

Another great trail in Kamakura is the Ten-en Hiking Course. It starts at the lesser-known Hansobo Shrine above Kenchoji Temple in Kita-Kamakura and continues on to Zuisenji Temple through the “Kamakura Alps.” 

A little more challenging than the Daibutsu Course, the trail is easily a one-to-two-hour hike depending on your fitness, and it is mostly uphill with yagura (tomb caves) and bamboo groves mid-way. The trail doesn’t get too crowded, and there are many signs in English and Japanese along the way. 

Alternatively, you could start from Kamakuragu Shrine, and in 30-40 minutes, reach the trail’s “Ten-en Trail Rest Stop,” which serves piping hot oden, tonjiru soup and cold tokoroten noodles. However, they are more famous for their yuzu-flavored daikon (radish) and tofu paired with different types of miso (soy paste).

Getting There: Kenchoji is a 15-to-20-minute walk from Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line or a 15-minute walk from Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine near Kamakura Station. You can catch the bus back to Kamakura from Zuisenji Temple at Ootounomiya (15 minutes from the temple).

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