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Nojiri Loop Course: 15km Loop Around A Glacial Lake

The summer haven of Lake Nojiri resides in the deepest corners of hearts and souls around the globe. Though if you’ve never heard of it, we’re not surprised. This ancient glacial lake in Nagano’s Myoko Togakushi Renzan...

A Family-Friendly Hike (And More!) on Hodosan

Tokyo is home to an impressive array of parks, gardens and green spaces, but sometimes, only an uphill trek can truly focus the mind. Thanks to Japan's supremely mountainous terrain, there are plenty of hiking day-trips possible from the capital. For those...

Tokyo’s Secret Wilderness: Exploring Todoroki Valley

Todoroki Valley is one of Tokyo’s best-kept secrets. Had your fill of busy streets and perfectly manicured gardens? Craving something mercifully secluded, unsparingly green and unapologetically wild? These Tokyo parklands are here for you. Defying generations of dutiful landscapers, Todoroki is a...

Mt. Mitake: A One-Day Itinerary for Nature and Serenity

When the excitement of Tokyo has gotten to be too much, head to the mountains to recharge in nature. My favorite mountain is Mt. Mitake, close enough to be accessed during a day trip from Tokyo yet still feeling worlds away. Originally...

Tokyo’s Favourite Day Hike: Mount Takao (Takaosan)

Offering scenic hiking trails, a popular monkey park, and ancient shrines, it's no small wonder that Mount Takao is one of Tokyo’s favourite respites. It’s also one of its most convenient. Located less than an hour from the city’s bustling Shinjuku station,...

A Great Half-Day Hike Near Kyoto: the Kibune – Kurama Hike

Looking for a way to enjoy nature, soak up culture and get some exercise, all at the same time? Well, look no further than the Kibune – Kurama hike. This easy two hour hike covers almost 4 kilometers through the Kitayama mountains...

Zamami and its Many Beaches: Okinawa Without a Car Day 2

Much of Zamami's coastline is comprised of sandy beaches and coral reef.
While some visitors to Okinawa never leave the main island, travelers in search of deeper relaxation frequently make their way to some of the less-visited islands. At the end of our second night in Okinawa, we got on a short ferry and...

Visiting Hidaka (Japan’s Secret Korea) and Hiking the Mt. Hiwada, Mt. Takasashi, and Mt. Monomi Trail

This tranquil waterwheel is in Hidaka's Kinchaku field. The red spider lily festival is held in the area.
It was time to get my hike on. A whirlwind of days in Tokyo had left me with a string of treasured memories, as well as a very full stomach. However, it had also left me with an urge to fling myself...

The Pacific Ocean, a Pagoda and a Waterfall: Day 5 of Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route

japan-wakayama-kumanokodo-pilgrimage-trail-walk-nakahechi-day5-koguchi-nachi
The final day of the Kumano Kodo on the Ogumotori-goe path was bittersweet. On one hand, we were tired and keen to return to our own beds and clean clothes. On the other hand, we were used...

Teahouse Remains and Sweeping Views: Day 4 of the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route

japan-wakayama-kumanokodo-pilgrimage-trail-walk-nakahechi-day4-hongu-Kogumotori-goe-Ukegawa to Koguchi
Although the pilgrimage was technically complete at Hongu, we wanted the sense of accomplishment from hiking coast to coast. Therefore, we and two bus loads of hikers packed ourselves into a local bus from Yunomine Onsen to the Ukegawa Trailhead where we...

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