Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hiking in Japan???

I am planning a hike through Japan.

And it scares me a little bit.

Japan hasn't ever been on the top of my list of places to go. So I bet you are asking, "Why Japan?". Honestly, my friend Stephen mentioned it this summer as a place that he wanted to go and I said I would be up for researching a hike through Japan. I ordered Lonely Planet's book - "Hiking in Japan" for both of us and now I am so excited!!! I have been reading as much info about Japan's as possible: the country, the mountains, the people, the climate, the food, the history, the religion and the hiking. There is a huge hiking community in Japan! I had no idea. The country is beautiful!

As of right now we are planning to hike from the north down to the south in about 30 days - but I keep running into Parks or Mountains that I want to make sure I get to hike so I have no idea what the itinerary is right now.

Stephen and I don't live in the same location, so right now I am just trying to learn as much as I can about Japan and others that have hiking through Japan. I will put together an itinerary that sounds interesting to me and then send it to him to see if he likes it or if there is something else he wants to do.

I am determined to be more flexible about this hike then I was about the AT. I planned the itinerary for the AT hike but I ended up hiking it with 4 others, including my sister, Slickrock, and the itinerary changed constantly because we needed to adjust the schedule almost everyday. There isn't an official Japan thru-hike, so we can create whatever we want. My goal is to see and learn as much as I can but also to enjoy. Even if we don't get to all the places I want to go.

Let me know if you have any info about hiking in Japan. I would love to hear about it!


Julia said...

Domo arigato Mr. Roboto

Sounds like an awesome plan. You should take a video camera and submit it to Banff Mountain Film Festival, yep...I am sure it will be exciting.

Em said...

Ummmm...okay! What's the Banff Mountain Film Festival?
I would love to - but I am sure any movie that I do would make people "car sick". Ha.

Julia said...

Banff Mountain Film Festival is a just what it sounds like; they show movies (of any length) through a tour of the world. Came to Cleveland last year and there was a story of a girl who mountain biked through Japan, China, Nepal, and a few other things...

So the video is a little bouncy...they have editors for that!

Erin Sigler said...

ooo....exciting...too bad my MCC travel budget couldn´t cover a ticket to go join you!


Erin Sigler said...

Christmas 2009.....ecuador or Peru??

let´s make the whole family go.



Ben said...

Sounds like an awesome plan! I can think of a few resources here that might help you, or at least give you some more information.

First off, there's the official Japan National Tourist Organization. They won't have a lot of stuff for hiking and camping, but they do have listings of places you can stay along the way, including some bed and breakfasts as well as youth hostels.

Next might be a magazine/site in English called Outdoor Japan. If you run both of these through Google you'll find it in no time.

After that, perhaps my blog for Kyushu that I just started might give you some ideas at least over at

Good luck and let me know if I can help you guys more!

Ben said...

Hi Emily, from time to time I do a search for other people blogging about hiking/camping here in Japan and I happened across your plans to hike Japan. This last year I’ve done a lot of look around for information in English myself and I thought I might be able to save you some time ^_^

I’ve read that book! That was one of my favorite books about traveling in Japan. The foreign community here was at quite a loss when he passed away from cancer a number of years back now. I believe his wife and kids are still living here, maybe even in Kyushu, I can’t recall at the moment. He wrote a number of good books about living in Japan.

I’m living here because I’m married to a Japanese woman. We got married back in California in 2001 and decided to move our family back here in 2005. We’ll probably be here for the next several years unless I get some ridiculously great job offer back in the US or win the lottery ;-)

So please keep in touch and keep checking this blog from time to time to see what new hikes and camps we talk about next from Kyushu and Shikoku!