Where To Hike In Japan In March? | 15 Best Hikes In Japan For March

Wondering where to hike in Japan in March? Discover the best hikes in Japan for March, when the weather warms and the landscapes bloom. Expert tips included!

As a seasoned Japan travel expert, I’ve spent years exploring the country’s stunning mountain trails.

March offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of Japan’s diverse landscapes, from snow-capped peaks to vibrant valleys.

Join me as I unveil the perfect hikes for your March adventure.

15 Recommended Hikes In Japan In March

Kumano Kodo

The Kumano Kodo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a network of ancient pilgrimage trails that wind through the mountainous Kii Peninsula in western Japan. The Nakahechi route is one of the most popular options, spanning approximately 40 kilometers. 

Hike In Japan In March

Beginning at Takijiri-oji, the trail passes through picturesque villages, lush forests, and sacred shrines. 

Highlights include the awe-inspiring Nachi Falls, the majestic Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine, and the charming town of Yunomine Onsen, known for its rejuvenating hot springs.

Mount Fuji

No article on hiking in Japan would be complete without mentioning the iconic Mount Fuji. Although the official climbing season starts in July, skilled hikers with proper equipment can attempt the Yoshida Trail from the fifth station in March. 

While the ascent is challenging, the reward is breathtaking panoramic views from the summit, especially during sunrise or sunset. 

Remember to check weather conditions and consult experienced climbers before attempting this trek.

Yakushima Island

Located in southern Japan, Yakushima Island boasts mystical forests, ancient cedar trees, and diverse wildlife. The Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine is a must-visit destination, inspiring the setting for the renowned anime film “Princess Mononoke.” 

Trekking through the moss-covered trails, you’ll encounter ethereal landscapes, hidden waterfalls, and enormous cedar trees that have stood for centuries. 

The Jomon Sugi Trail leads to the island’s oldest and most revered cedar tree, Jomon Sugi, estimated to be around 7,000 years old.

Kamikochi

Situated in the Northern Japan Alps, Kamikochi offers unparalleled alpine beauty.

The Kappa Bridge is the starting point for various hiking trails that meander through the valley, presenting breathtaking vistas of towering peaks, crystal-clear streams, and vibrant alpine flora. 

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The Taisho Pond Trail is a popular choice, leading you to the tranquil Taisho Pond, surrounded by stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains. 

Additionally, the Myojin Pond Trail takes you to Myojin Pond, a picturesque spot famous for its mirror-like surface.

Nakasendo Trail

For history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, the Nakasendo Trail provides a unique hiking experience.

Connecting Kyoto and Tokyo during the Edo period, this historic route is now dotted with well-preserved sections that offer glimpses into Japan’s past. 

The Magome to Tsumago section is particularly charming, featuring beautifully preserved traditional houses, cobblestone paths, and scenic mountain views. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and savor local delicacies along the trail.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, known as the “Roof of Japan,” takes you through the dramatic Northern Japan Alps. 

Starting in Tateyama and ending in Omachi, this scenic route combines various modes of transportation, including cable cars, buses, and a ropeway. 

The trail offers breathtaking vistas of snow-capped peaks, expansive valleys, and the famous Snow Walls, towering walls of snow that can reach up to 20 meters in height. 

March is an ideal time to witness the stunning winter scenery before the route fully opens in April.

Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail

For those seeking a spiritual and cultural journey, the Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail on Shikoku Island is a remarkable choice. Comprised of 88 temples, this 1,200-kilometer trail is associated with the revered Buddhist monk Kukai (Kobo Daishi). 

While completing the entire trail is an arduous undertaking, you can choose to hike smaller sections. 

The Henro, or pilgrim, experience allows you to immerse yourself in Japan’s religious heritage, encounter beautiful temples, and enjoy the island’s scenic landscapes.

Daisetsuzan National Park

Located in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, Daisetsuzan National Park offers stunning alpine landscapes, vast wilderness, and abundant wildlife. 

The Asahidake Summit Trail is a popular choice for hikers, offering a challenging but rewarding adventure. 

Starting at the Asahidake Ropeway Station, you’ll ascend through scenic volcanic landscapes, pass bubbling hot springs, and reach the summit of Mount Asahidake, the highest peak in Hokkaido. 

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On a clear day, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and vast expanses.

Nachi Waterfall and Seiganto-ji Temple Trail

Situated in Wakayama Prefecture, the Nachi Waterfall and Seiganto-ji Temple Trail combines natural beauty and cultural heritage. 

Starting at Nachi Station, the trail leads you through lush forests to the magnificent Nachi Waterfall, one of Japan’s tallest waterfalls with a drop of 133 meters. 

From there, you can visit the nearby Seiganto-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and experience the tranquility of the sacred surroundings. This trail offers a harmonious blend of nature, spirituality, and architectural splendor.

Okutama

Just a short distance from Tokyo, the Okutama region offers a tranquil escape into nature. The Tama River Trail is a scenic route that follows the winding course of the Tama River, surrounded by verdant forests and picturesque landscapes. 

The trail takes you through serene valleys, past charming villages, and across suspension bridges that offer stunning views. 

March brings pleasant temperatures and the opportunity to witness the cherry blossoms in bloom, enhancing the beauty of the journey.

Yakushimagawa River Trail

Located in the remote Yakushima Island, the Yakushimagawa River Trail takes you through a pristine natural landscape with cascading waterfalls, ancient trees, and serene riverbanks. 

The trail starts at the Yakushima Visitor Center and winds along the river, offering opportunities for bird-watching and glimpses of unique flora and fauna. 

The trail leads to the enchanting Oko-no-taki Waterfall, a picturesque spot where you can relax and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.

Kamikochi and the Hotaka Mountains

Kamikochi, nestled in the Northern Japan Alps, is a breathtakingly beautiful valley renowned for its towering peaks, crystal-clear rivers, and vibrant alpine flora. 

The trail begins at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal and offers a range of hiking options suitable for different skill levels. The journey takes you through majestic forests, across suspension bridges, and along well-maintained paths. 

The Hotaka Mountains, with peaks like Mt. Yari and Mt. Hotaka, provide awe-inspiring views and a sense of adventure.

Iya Valley

Tucked away in the mountainous region of Shikoku Island, the Iya Valley offers a secluded and picturesque hiking experience. 

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The trail starts in the village of Ochiai and takes you through remote rural landscapes, deep gorges, and ancient vine bridges that are characteristic of the area. 

Hike along the Iya River, soak in the breathtaking valley views, and explore traditional thatched-roof houses. The Iya Valley is also famous for its hot springs, providing a relaxing respite after a day of hiking.

Bandai Azuma Skyline

In the Tohoku region, the Bandai Azuma Skyline is a scenic mountain road that winds its way through the stunning landscapes of the Bandai and Azuma mountain ranges. 

The road is closed during winter but typically opens in early April, making March an excellent time to enjoy the trail before the crowds arrive. 

As you hike along the road, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of snow-capped peaks, picturesque lakes, and lush forests. Admire the volcanic terrain and savor the beauty of the changing seasons.

Aso-Kuju National Park

Situated in Kyushu, Aso-Kuju National Park offers a diverse range of hiking opportunities, from volcanic craters to rolling hills. 

The trail around the Aso Caldera is particularly captivating, allowing you to explore the dramatic volcanic landscape surrounding Mount Aso, one of the world’s largest calderas. 

Marvel at the vast expanse of the caldera, hike to the summit of Mount Nakadake, and witness the volcanic activity of the active volcano. March offers pleasant weather and an opportunity to witness the first signs of spring in the surrounding flora.

Conclusion

March presents an excellent time to explore Japan’s diverse hiking trails, with each offering its own unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and adventure. 

From the alpine landscapes of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route to the spiritual journey of the Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail and the scenic wonders of Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan offers a wealth of options for hikers. 

Embrace the crisp air, immerse yourself in stunning vistas, and discover the captivating wonders that await you on Japan’s hiking trails in March.

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