Hiking in Japan is one of the world’s best kept secrets. Whether its paving the way from village to village in the Japanese Alps, traversing the Big Snow Mountain of Hokkaido, climbing the volcanoes of Kyushu or simply walking in the hills of Kyoto, there is something for everyone to enjoy. We’ve compiled our favourite walking destinations in Japan, ideal for seasoned walkers and wanderers alike.
Specialist Walking and Trekking
From challenging treks across the snow-topped peaks of the Himalayas to leisurely village walks through charming hill stations, Asia offers countless opportunities for the keen walker.
The misty forests, bountiful orchards and lofty hill stations of Himachal Pradesh in northern India are ideal for on foot exploration. Discover colonial mansions, ancient churches and tea plantations in Darjeeling, or take a walking tour of Shimla to find temple-topped hills, grand Victorian architecture and stunning landscapes.
Neighbouring Nepal claims eight out of ten of the world’s highest peaks, including the awe-inspiring Mount Everest, making it a snow-capped adventure paradise. The trail to Everest Base Camp is a classic route, and although trekking in this area is demanding, the outstanding mountain scenery and friendly locals make it an incredibly worthwhile experience.
Further afield, head to Sa Pa in the northwest highlands of Vietnam to embark on treks which pass through the region’s majestic mountain peaks, charming villages and rice terraces. Alternatively, Kalaw is known as Burma’s trekking mecca, offering a variety of hikes from short ambles or longer walks. The more adventurous can take the trek to Inle Lake or Pindaya which passes through hill tribe villages, offering hikers the chance to interact with local communities en route.
For those pressed for time, yet wanting to squeeze in a challenging trek, consider summiting Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, Southeast Asia’s highest mountain. You’ll embark on a day’s steep uphill trek, followed by a pre-dawn climb up a rocky ascent to see the sunrise from the summit. Upon your descent, soothe aching muscles by bathing in the hot springs of the eponymous national park, the perfect cure for weary legs.