They are all short-distance loop trails with an acceptable difficulty level, which makes them suitable for short breaks and day hikes, and for any kind of hiker or walker. You can download these GPS trails and waypoints from Google Maps.
Azumaya-san, near Higashi-gumi (Nagano)
Distance: 13 km – Uphill: 1156 m – Downhill: 1156 m – Time: 5:30/6:40 hrs
Azumaya-san is a mountain located on the border between Nagano and Gunma prefectures. It lies between Kusatsu-Shirane and Asama-yama, and together with them is included in the list “100 Mountains of Japan” by Kyūya Fukada.
Komagatake, near Ichiba (Shiga)
Distance: 15 km – Uphill: 743 m – Downhill: 701 m – Time: 5:10/6:10 hrs
This 780 m tall mountain lies in the Kansai region, which is the cultural and historical heart of Japan and encircles the largest freshwater lake in the country.
Daigenta-san, near Yuzawa (Niigata)
Distance: 9 km – Uphill: 1198 m – Downhill: 1198 m – Time: 4:50/5:50 hrs
A moderately difficult circular trail that winds through the scenic mountains of Niigata prefecture. The region stretches about 240 km along the Sea of Japan.
Mount Misen, near Miyajima (Hiroshima)
Distance: 10 km – Uphill: 673 m – Downhill: 673 m – Time: 3:40/4:40 hrs
Mount Misen is a sacred mountain on a sacred island, situated within the World Heritage area of Itsukushima Shrine, a pilgrimage destination for centuries.
Nishisawa Gorge, near Hirose (Yamanashi)
Distance: 9 km – Uphill: 267 m – Downhill: 267 m – Time: 2:50/3:40 hrs
The Nishisawa Gorge is a canyon carved by the Fuefuki River, on the Yamanashi side of the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park. It features falls and stream pools.
Best time to go to Japan: Apr-May and Sep-Dec
Backpacker cost per day: 46 USD = 44 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our Japan Travel Guide.
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