Japan is a country known for its rich cultural heritage, bustling cities, and stunning landscapes. Among its many natural wonders, the highest mountains stand as majestic symbols of the country’s rugged beauty. Located on the main island of Honshu, these mountains hold both historical and spiritual significance for the Japanese people.
Mount Fuji, Japan’s most iconic peak, stands at an impressive 3,776 meters (12,389 feet) tall and is an active stratovolcano. Revered as a sacred mountain, it has been a source of inspiration for artists, poets, and pilgrims throughout history. Every year, thousands of visitors embark on the challenging climb to witness the breathtaking sunrise from its summit, an experience that leaves an indelible mark on their souls.
The Yamanashi, Nagano, Shizuoka, and Gifu prefectures are home to all 23 of the country’s mountains that are higher than 3,000 meters. The elevation findings of triangulation stations across Japan were updated to new values by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan on April 1, 2014, in accordance with the advancement and expanding usage of new surveying technologies, such as the Global Navigation Satellite System. Mount Aino, which had previously been ranked as the fourth-highest mountain, afterward gained a meter in height to tie Mount Okuhotaka for third place.
Nearby, the Northern Alps or “Hida Mountains” offer a rugged and picturesque landscape. The three highest peaks in this range are Mount Hotaka, Mount Yari, and Mount Norikura, each reaching heights of over 3,000 meters (9,800 feet). These alpine mountains attract hikers, climbers, and nature enthusiasts who come to explore their pristine valleys, cascading waterfalls, and alpine flora.
Further south, on the island of Kyushu, stands Mount Aso, one of the world’s largest volcanic calderas with a circumference of about 120 kilometers (75 miles). Its central cone, Mount Nakadake, is an active volcano that emits plumes of steam and sulfur, adding an element of intrigue to the rugged landscape.
Japan’s highest mountains offer more than just natural beauty; they are a reflection of the deep spiritual connection the Japanese people have with nature. These peaks have inspired myths, folklore, and religious practices for centuries, making them integral to Japan’s cultural identity.
The Shinano River, which rises in Mount Kobushi near the borders of Yamanashi, Saitama, and Nagano Prefectures and empties into the Sea of Japan, is the longest river in Japan. In Nagano, it is known as the Chikuma River, but as it approaches the Niigata border, its name changes to Shinano. The Shinano, Ishikari, Teshio, Mogami, and Agano are five of the longest rivers, and they all empty into the Sea of Japan. All of the rivers that run into the Pacific Ocean are the Tone, Kitakami, Abukuma, Kiso, and Tenry. Below is a list of the top 10 highest mountains in Japan.
1. Mount Fuji: 3,776 meters (12,388 feet)
Mount Fuji, standing at an elevation of 3,776 meters (12,388 feet), is Japan’s highest and most iconic mountain. Located in Honshu Island, it is an active stratovolcano and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mount Fuji is renowned for its symmetrical cone shape, snow-capped peak, and scenic beauty. It is a popular destination for climbers, hikers, and photographers who seek to witness the sunrise from its summit. Mount Fuji holds cultural and spiritual significance in Japan and attracts millions of visitors each year.
2. Mount Kita: 3,193 meters (10,476 feet)
Mount Kita, reaching an elevation of 3,193 meters (10,476 feet), is the second highest peak in Japan. It is part of the Akaishi Mountain Range, located in Honshu Island. Mount Kita offers a challenging and rewarding climb, with stunning alpine landscapes, rocky ridges, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. It is known for its rugged beauty and attracts experienced mountaineers seeking a thrilling adventure.
3. Mount Okuhotaka: 3,190 meters (10,466 feet)
With an elevation of 3,190 meters (10,466 feet), Mount Okuhotaka is the third highest peak in Japan. It is situated in the Hida Mountains, also known as the Northern Alps, on Honshu Island. Mount Okuhotaka offers a mix of alpine meadows, rocky terrain, and breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. It is a popular destination for hikers and climbers, providing opportunities to explore the pristine beauty of the Northern Alps.
4. Mount Aino: 3,189 meters (10,463 feet)
Mount Aino stands at 3,189 meters (10,463 feet) and is located in the Hida Mountains. It is the fourth highest peak in Japan and is known for its stunning alpine landscapes, including picturesque valleys, rugged slopes, and crystal-clear mountain streams. Mount Aino offers a challenging climb for experienced mountaineers, rewarding them with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and the natural beauty of the Hida Mountains.
5. Mount Yari: 3,193 meters (10,433 feet)
Mount Yari, reaching a height of 3,193 meters (10,433 feet), is part of the Hida Mountains in Honshu Island. It is known for its distinctive shape resembling a spear, which gives it the name “Yari,” meaning “spear” in Japanese. Mount Yari offers a thrilling climb with steep slopes, rocky sections, and breathtaking vistas. It is a popular destination for hikers and climbers seeking a challenging adventure in the stunning alpine environment.
6. Mount Warusawa: 3,139 meters (10,305 feet)
Mount Warusawa stands at 3,139 meters (10,305 feet) and is located in the Hida Mountains. It is known for its beautiful alpine scenery, including rugged cliffs, alpine meadows, and picturesque lakes. Mount Warusawa offers hiking trails that traverse through diverse landscapes and provide stunning views of the surrounding peaks. It is a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers.
7. Mount Akaishi: 3,120 meters (10,236 feet)
With an elevation of 3,120 meters (10,236 feet), Mount Akaishi is situated in the Akaishi Mountain Range on Honshu Island. It offers a mix of rocky slopes, alpine meadows, and picturesque valleys. Mount Akaishi provides panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and attracts hikers and climbers who seek to experience the natural beauty and tranquility of the Akaishi Mountains.
8. Mount Karasawa: 3,120 meters (10,203 feet)
Mount Karasawa stands at 3,120 meters (10,203 feet) and is located in the Northern Alps of Honshu Island. It offers a challenging climb with steep terrain, rugged cliffs, and stunning alpine landscapes. Mount Karasawa is known for its wildflowers that bloom during the summer, creating a vibrant and colorful scene. It provides hikers with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and the alpine wilderness.
9. Mount Kitahotaka: 3,155 meters (10,190 feet)
Mount Kitahotaka reaches a height of 3,155 meters (10,190 feet) and is part of the Hida Mountains. It offers diverse terrain, including rocky ridges, alpine meadows, and deep valleys. Mount Kitahotaka is known for its picturesque beauty and attracts hikers and climbers who seek to explore its trails and enjoy scenic vistas. The summit provides stunning views of the Hida Mountains and the surrounding alpine environment.
10. Mount Obami: 3,118 meters (10,174 feet)
Mount Obami stands at an elevation of 3,118 meters (10,174 feet) and is located in the Akaishi Mountain Range. It offers a challenging climb with rugged terrain, rocky slopes, and stunning alpine views. Mount Obami is known for its remote and untouched beauty, providing a serene and tranquil environment for hikers and climbers seeking a rewarding mountain experience.
These mountains in Japan offer a range of outdoor activities, stunning vistas, and a chance to immerse yourself in the country’s natural beauty. Exploring their peaks and trails allows visitors to witness the unique alpine landscapes, experience the rich culture of mountaineering in Japan, and create lasting memories of their time in these majestic mountain ranges.
How many Japanese people climb Kilimanjaro annually?
It is estimated that approximately 792 Japanese individuals embark on the challenging journey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro each year. These adventurous souls from Japan are drawn to the allure of Africa’s highest peak, seeking the exhilaration of conquering its summit and immersing themselves in the majestic beauty of Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro serves as a beacon for mountaineers worldwide, and the Japanese climbers add their unique spirit and determination to the international community of adventurers who strive to reach its pinnacle. With their passion for exploration and a deep appreciation for nature’s wonders, these Japanese climbers make their mark on Kilimanjaro and create unforgettable memories along the way.
How much it costs to climb Kilimanjaro in Japanese Yen
Here are the costs to climb Kilimanjaro in Japanese Yen against the USD:
- Marangu route– 6 days from USD 1,695 (Approximately ¥186,450)
- Machame route – 7 days from USD 1,985 (Approximately ¥218,350)
- Crater Camp route– 7 days from USD 2,895 (Approximately ¥318,450)
- Rongai route – 7 days from USD 1,885 (Approximately ¥207,350)
- Lemosho route– 8 days from USD 2,350 (Approximately ¥258,350)
- Northern Circuit route – 9 days from USD 2,545 (Approximately ¥279,950)
Please note that the prices mentioned above are approximate values in Japanese Yen based on the exchange rate at the time of writing. The actual conversion rate may vary depending on the current exchange rate. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a significant adventure that requires careful planning, preparation, and guidance from experienced guides to ensure a safe and successful ascent. The cost typically includes various services, such as park fees, accommodation, meals, guide and porter services, and sometimes additional amenities. It’s essential to choose a reputable tour operator that provides quality services and prioritizes safety during the climb.
The Northern Alps, Hida Mountains
The Northern Alps, also known as the Hida Mountains, is a spectacular mountain range located in central Japan. Stretching across the prefectures of Nagano, Toyama, and Gifu, these majestic peaks offer breathtaking alpine scenery and outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts and climbers alike.
Mount Hotaka, the tallest peak in the Northern Alps, stands proudly at an elevation of 3,190 meters (10,466 feet). Its impressive summit attracts climbers from around the world seeking the thrill of conquering its challenging slopes and experiencing the awe-inspiring views from the top.
Another renowned peak in the range is Mount Yari, known for its distinct triangular shape and rugged beauty. It is a popular destination for experienced hikers who relish the challenge of ascending its steep and rocky trails.
The Northern Alps also boast stunning valleys, glacial lakes, and cascading waterfalls, creating a serene and picturesque landscape that captivates visitors. The Kamikochi area, nestled within the range, is particularly famous for its pristine beauty and is a favorite spot for nature lovers seeking tranquility and inspiration.
Throughout the year, the Northern Alps offer various recreational activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing during the winter months. The region’s natural beauty and cultural significance have earned it a place as one of Japan’s most cherished and revered mountain ranges.
Whether you’re a seasoned mountaineer or a leisurely explorer, the Northern Alps’ grandeur and serenity beckon you to immerse yourself in the wonders of Japan’s alpine wilderness.