Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Japan with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Just hiked Fujisan last night! I hike in the Cascade Mountains outside of Seattle about once a week and stay quite fit, and I’ve gotta say this was harder than I expected. I really liked the challenge though. The altitude makes a big difference, but I was sure to take several small breaks, especially when feeling light headed, and didn’t get sick at all. It was SO cold, especially around 2am with the wind blowing. I did not stay in the huts after all the reviews of terrible sleep, and I was fine - but it may have been nice to get out of the cold and refresh for a couple hours, even without the sleep. If you’re not staying in the huts, know that there is nowhere to take reprieve from the cold and wind so prepare to be out in it for the entirety of your hike. For some reason, I had the misconception there would be somewhere to sit inside and have a meal or coffee. but not true unless you are an overnight hit guest. Overall, I’m glad I did it. But it will take some years before I’m willing to do it again :)

Hiked in one straight shot, but I would not recommend it simply due to the altitude change and need to acclimate: many others, including myself, get sick closer to the top. I missed the crowds going up by starting the hike at night, and made it to station 9 for the sunrise (it is a better chance of seeing the sunrise here, those at the top didnt witness it due to fog). If hiking at night, make sure you have a headlamp because you will need your hands. IMPORTANT: there is nowhere to get water on the way down, so buy more if you need it at the top, and use the facilities as it will be at least 1.5 hours before there is another opportunity. unless you run down, which I highly discourage due to mud and loose dirt. 2 hiking sticks will make this trek down mich easier as well. I did not stop to rest at a station, but if you plan to then you need to make reservations ahead of time.

Hiked alone. Met folks along the way. Sunrise was incredible. Rested at Basecamp 9.

Amazing hike at a slow pace makes this doable by almost anyone. Definitely recommend climbing it in two days. Would love to come back!

100% worth it. I hiked alone but made friends along the way. There were often bottlenecks due to crowds in August. Bring plenty of yen because everything on the climb up is extremely expensive. To stay the night and finish the hike in the AM for the sunrise book a hut in advance - reservations run out far in advance.

Full blog post: https://thejourneyofmyfeet.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/idiots-guide-to-hiking-mt-fuji/

We chose to forgo the sunrise and climb up and down in one day. We took the first bus from Fujisan Station to the fifth station and arrived about 7:30 am. The station was kind of chaotic and we didn’t start hiking until about 8 am. We reached the sixth station in about 35 minutes. We found the times listed on the trail markers to be accurate, maybe a little generous. After the seventh station, there is a section that’s very rocky. We were glad we had hiking poles for this especially (and the decent). Most of the trail is loose lava rock on wide paths.

We arrived at the top about 1:45 pm and only stayed long enough for a few photos and a bathroom break before we started down.

Going down for us was much harder than going up. Its almost the same kind of trail as going up but it’s so steep and the rocks are so loose that everyone is sliding around trying to stay up. Everyone fell at least once. Japanese people were mostly running down which seemed to work well if you have the energy/nerve. We got to the bottom before 5 pm.

Overall, I recommend doing it all in one day, but I wish we could have started earlier. We had amazing views on the way up that were nonexistent on the way down. We had fewer people hiking with us and most of them seemed to be Japanese. The weather was great. We didn’t have any rain and it was barely chilly at the top. Finally there were sections that were scary enough with full sunlight; I wouldn’t want to be trying to do it in the dark.

hard, windy, cold at times, but the views..... amazing

hiking
1 month ago

A beautiful walk through bamboo and forest. I was able to find the multiple geocache hidden here. I didn’t make is all the way to the far end since the geocache was towards the middle of the hike. Will definitely come back to explore.

trail running
2 months ago

One of my favorite routes to run! We currently have it marked with purple arrow painted rocks (from the Explore Okinawa free group on Facebook) but it’s fairly manageable to find, even if someone swipes a rock! Enjoy the views !
Be sure to take the extra set of stairs closer to Onno no Eki market to get to see more ruins, an amazing view, and a hidden cave!
Kids and dogs can conquer this hike even though the full route is around 4 miles, just pack plenty of water for the Okinawa heat!

2 months ago

Great trail... great view at the observatory. There are a few narrow spots and a few places where the forest is overgrown a little. We took an 8 year old, a 5 year old and a 2 year old; they all did fine.

A ton of stairs, beware. Still beautiful and serene, though. Really recommend it, especially since there's more than one way up and back down. Not to mention the base of the mountain has a swarm of wild deer that love people and let you pet them.

Superb views! Easy to get to and very very beautiful! Some parts of the trails are rather narrow and the bridge youd have to cross is a bit run down but other than that super beautiful! Don't forget to study the map so you dont take a wrong turn or else youll end up somewhere completely else! Lots of views of mount fuji along the trail and the surrounding mountains!

A lovely walk up and down the canyon past many waterfalls. There is an entrance fee (I remember 200 yen), and it costs money to park your car. There is bus service to the trailhead. This is a very popular trail especially for photographers.

You gotta do this once in your life!!!!!!

I actually did this trail when I was 17 years old! My parents took me there and remembered how hard it was for me to get all the way up without any hiking experience or fitness background. Now, I do lots of workouts, hiking and want to do it again with my teens. Gotta go home first- and will see you, Fuji-san, soon!! xx

Going up was great and not as hard as I first anticipated. Going down was...wow!...talk about having to endure something. You can’t opt out either because you have to get down, lol! Definitely glad I did it!!! It did give me a craving to climb more mountains now

hiking
5 months ago

This trail can be difficult with some technical rock climbs/descents. It was very busy when I went (the weekend) with people of all ages, including many impressive older people charging it. Views of Osaka can be glimpsed throughout with an impressive panoramic view at the very summit. The trail includes several small stream crossings.

The first 1/4 mile is all rock climbing but then becomes a typical trail, so don't get discouraged as I did by.
The trail is well worn and well defined. There are a couple of forks with no English on the trail markers, so prepared.

Note: that this trail as listed doesn't go to the summit and it's only about another 1/4 mile. Make sure you do that to get the summit view!

Easy trail for families. Walk through a cleared path to the Ikego Campgrounds where there are small cabins. You pass by some open fields, bamboo, water and old samurai gravesites. The whole thing takes about 20-30 minutes roundtrip and is flat. Great for kids and dogs allowed, but watch for snakes.

It was tougher than expected. We left 5th station at 5:20 PM on August 28th. We made it to one of the huts of station 8 at about 8:00 pm. Spend the night there and started towards the top at 2:00 AM. The crowds were big and the ascend was slow and in the middle of rain and wind. We made it to the top right before the sunrise. The hardest part is the descend in loss gravel and very steep trails. There was no one around us that did not end up the floor, us included. It is worthy but the crowds make it very slow if you plan to see the sunrise.

Did it about 3 years ago; amazing view at the top. Had snow in July. Sleeping accommodations are expensive and they essentially line you up like sushi, but it makes a fun memory.

It's a very Japanese thing to do. I am so grateful I was able to experience it. It is not easy. Like a marathon, anyone can do it but, at one's own pace and only if a strong desire exists, and good physical and mental conditioning. There are many places to 'step up'. Poles are common, sometimes they get in their own way.

The sleep over experience is a kick! Terrible sleep! But, part of the experience. The curry/rice dinner was tasty.

I stayed at 8th station and began in Amageshi (1st station), part of the traditional trail. Most people start at 5 th station. If you are an athlete with strong body, willingness to sweat, and want more of the spiritual trek experience, start low. (Japanese I spoke to wondered if I really wanted to do that?!). I saw very few people on the lower portion. (Below 5th station). For me this was success. However, I was glad to join in the flow later on. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced and I admire the Japanese in this tradition. Others are smart to begin at 5th station as this lower part is no walk in the park and climbs from the get go!

We woke up at 1:30am, in time to summit by sunrise (August). There was a continuous snake of headlamps winding to the top. All of us connected in our journey. Freezing cold and windy! Make sure to bring many layers and perhaps, rent a puffy jacket or bring one, for the top!

Sunrise was spectacular. The numbers of people standing in reverence, emotionally touching. Despite the numbers, I took quite a few photos without obstruction. And then, descended the path, soft but steep.

Fuji San reveals himself rarely in August, but in that day, the clouds parted. If you decide to climb Mount Fuji, I hope you are as fortunate as me!

Did this in the 90's, slept at last hunt & left early to reach summit for sunrise-wow!

Amazing hike. Stay at station 8.5 overnight and hike to the summit for the sunrise. You won't be disappointed.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

A beautiful trail with a number of small temples and shrines located along the way. You can take the hanging gondola most of the way up or down if you choose to make things easier. Near the top is an ancient temple where refreshments are sold.

hiking
Friday, May 26, 2017

Some trails marked on map were not clear but trail used was well marked and easy to follow. Some snakes and large insects at the beginning while at lower altitude. Recommend it as moderate.

hiking
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A great hike of Hiei. Take the bus to Shugakuin. You'll see a river at the stop. walk along that river up to the trailhead (called Kirara-oka). You take that all the way up, no way to get lost. You will have to pay 600 yen to enter the facilities. You can return or walk through the temple compound and descend to Sakamoto station and ride that back to Kyoto. There are wild monkeys on the hike sometimes, but they won't approach you.

hiking
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I have a friend in Japan who took me to hike Fuji-San during the season everything around it opens (like the checkpoints). When I told him I wanted to hike it, he told me the thing to do is hike it at night and watch the sunrise from the top. We hiked it starting at 7:00pm, and climbed our way to the top by 3:00 am. There were literally thousands of other people hiking it with us, so at no point did I feel like I'd be stranded alone. Bring some cash because the checkpoints along the way have refreshments, snacks, and restrooms (it was a few hundred yen to use restrooms). Once at the top we had to rush to find a spot to sit down on the eastern side as by the time we had settled in there was practically standing room only, but it was entirely worth it once the sun came up. It was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had, and I wish I could relive every moment of it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Best trail ever! Not too steep, but definitely not for the faint of heart.
Took 8.5 hours to climb the yellow trail from 5th level. Take oxygen, remember to stop frequently or you'll get sick.

hiking
Saturday, July 16, 2016

This is our hike up Mount Fuji (富士山 Fujisan). We did this on July 5th, just after the official hiking season opened and used the Yoshida Trail starting at the Fuji-Subaru 5th station. We traveled from Tokyo on a JR train (Chūō Main Line Rapid Service) to Ōtsuki Station, and then to Kawaguchiko on the Fujikyu Railway service. This website provided particularly good instructions on how to do this and it was easy.
http://chasingplaces.com/how-to-get-from-tokyo-to-kawaguchiko-mount-fuji-by-train-using-the-japan-rail-pass/
We actually got off a couple stops before Kawaguchiko Station, at Fuji Station, where the bus to the Fuji-Subaru Line 5th station originates. If you wait until Kawaguchiko, the buses are crowded! http://www.japan-guide.com/bus/fuji.html
Video of our hike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M__bgbq1cQs
We started from the 5th station at about noon. The length of Yoshida trail is approximately 3.6 miles on the way up (4824’ gain) and 4.3 miles on the route down. Deceptively short!! The trail starts off very easy and is a wide volcanic ash path with bits of shade along the way. By the time you get to the 6th station, about .9mi in, the trees have disappeared and the trail starts to ascend more steeply. DO NOT FORGET YOUR SUNSCREEN LIKE WE DID! Bring a lot of 100JPY coins, restroom use is 200JPY at each station. If you have a touristy Fuji walking stick, bring even more, as it takes 200-400JPY to get it branded at each station. Also, drinks get more expensive the higher you go, from 200JPY at the bottom to 500JPY near the top. As you approach the 7th station .6mi further, the trail starts to get very steep. We stayed at the Kamaiwa-kan hut at the 7th station (http://kamaiwakan.jpn.org/english/). It was easy to make a reservation online and was not too high up the trail. We got there late afternoon and rested until dinner at 6PM, then went to sleep until midnight when we continued our journey. A good headlamp is necessary and I’m glad I had my Zebralight with me. The trail is just relentless on the way up from the 7th station. By the time we got to the 8.5 station, it was time to watch the sun rise (4:20AM). The sun rises very early on Fuji! I was also glad for the rest because my lungs could not get enough air for me to move very quickly. After sunrise, we continued to the summit. This was the most difficult part of the hike for me and I needed rest every few minutes. My legs were fine, I just could not get enough air, which caused dizziness and short periods of nausea. The Yoshida Trail summit (12267') was a welcome sight! Because we hiked so early in the season, the summit shops were still closed, as were portions of the crater circumference trail. I was told these open up after the 15th of July. NO RESTROOM and NO WATER this time of year at the summit. I hiked around to the crater side of the buildings to see the crater, which was a spectacular sight. I’d never seen the crater of a volcano before. The wind was howling at around 40mph and the temps were in the mid 30s…with the clouds blowing through, it was wicked cold. The trail back down is different from the way up and consists of mostly soft ash, which is hard to walk on…kind of like hiking on the beach. My legs were dead by the time we got back to the 5th station bus 24hrs later. This hike was definitely worth it for me, has spectacular views, and was the 1st time I’d hiked at any real altitude, let alone 12K feet. One day I plan to get to Everest base station…I need to do more cardio if I’m even going to step foot near that place!

hiking
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This is a great hike for anyone that is traveling or living in the Kansai region.

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