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Hiking in Japan

Hiking in Japan has amazing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, with about 70% of the country being mountains the possibilities are endless. To make the most of your hiking experience, it's essential to be aware of certain practical considerations unique to Japan's hiking environment.

A key aspect to keep in mind is the hiking season, particularly concerning hikes in the Japanese alps. These peaks and hikes are generally accessible from mid-July to mid-October. Outside of this period, many huts close down, and road access to trailheads are restricted and closed.

Japan experiences significant snowfall during fall, winter, and spring months, making winter mountaineering skills and gear neccesary. Snow can persist until the end of June, overlapping with the rainy season.

Popular hiking destinations like Kamikochi and Tateyama offer incredible scenery, especially during the fall when foliage changes into vibrant colors. However, securing accommodations in huts during peak seasons can be challenging, requiring advanced planning.

Summers in Japan can be hot and humid, so starting your hikes early to avoid the midday heat is important. It's advisable to carry an ample supply of water, at least 2 liters, as dehydration is common. Many Japanese hikers opt to hit the trails before dawn to avoid crowds and afternoon thunderstorms.

Although trails in Japan are typically well-marked, English signage may be limited. Using GPS apps like Yamap can help ensure you stay on course during your hike.

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