Nagoya is a fascinating Japanese city to visit due to the diversity of the things to see and do during your vacation. There is everything from sampling the unique cuisine to fun family attractions and visiting historical monuments to admiring spectacular views of the city and beyond. Many people do not realize that this is also a fantastic place to visit if you enjoy hiking, as varied landscapes surround the Japan with stunning natural landmarks. The mountain ranges outside the city are particularly popular spots for hikers and lovers of outdoor pursuits. If you enjoy the outdoors, then you will find a multitude of trails to explore during your visit, so you can combine enjoying the unique features of the city with getting close to nature. Here is a traveler’s guide to hiking in Nagoya.
According to Smile Magazine for Cebu Pacific, the best hike in the area around Nagoya is Mount Gozaisho. This mountain is one of the tallest peaks in the Suzuka Mountains range at 1,212 meters, and it is an hour outside the city. It is a challenging hike that involves some scrambling and climbing, so it is one for experienced hikers. The climb is worth the effort, as there are spectacular views from the top. There is the option to hike the descent or to take the cable car ride, which is the longest in Japan. You can then enjoy relaxing in a hot spring as the cable car stops at the Yunoyama Onsen.
Located in the Suzuka Mountains range, Mount Fujiwara has an elevation of 1,000 meters, and it is topped with a karst plateau. The hike to the top goes through ten staged points, and you will pass through green meadows dotted with alpine wildflowers and through cedar forests. At the summit, there are unobstructed views of the breathtaking surrounding landscape.
A hike that is easier than Mount Gozaisho and Mount Fujiwara is Mount Ena. Although it is easier, you still reap the rewards of beautiful landscapes and phenomenal views. Mount Ena is located in the Kiso Mountains range, and it will take approximately four hours to hike to the summit. Unusually, the summit is not the point where you can enjoy the best views. The best place is from a rock behind a hut that you will pass ten minutes before reaching the summit, so make sure you stop at this point.
Hiking Japan describes Mount Sanage as a local outdoor playground for Nagoya hikers and trail runners. It is located in the Japan Alps just outside Toyota city in the Aichi Prefecture. The hike is just over six miles long, and there is an elevation change of 500 meters. Although it is classed as a moderate hike, it will take between four and six hours to complete depending on your abilities. You can enjoy this hike at any time of the year, but it is best in late spring and fall when the air quality is at its best. If you attempt the hike during winter, it is likely you will need crampons.
The pleasure of hiking Mount Yoro begins before you even start your hike, as there is a famous waterfall at the base of the peak. The hike is almost 7.5-miles, and there is an elevation change of approximately 800 meters. It is estimated that experienced hikers can complete the hike in around four hours, but inexperienced hikers may find it takes up to six hours to complete. If you do not have appropriate winter hiking equipment, then avoid this hike during the winter months. One of the best times to hike Mount Yoro is during fall when the foliage is spectacular.
Commonly referred to as Mount Kama, this spear-like peak is one of the Suzuka Mountains' hidden gems. It is ideally suited to those who enjoy combining hiking with rock scrambling, as the terrain is diverse. Once at the summit of the peak, you can enjoy views across the Suzuka Mountains and the Shiga and Mie Prefectures. It is best to complete the hike between May and early December, and only attempt the hike in the winter if you are an experienced hiker and climber. It is worth noting that you should avoid this hike from June through August as the mountains are covered in blood-sucking leeches. The hike takes approximately 3.5-hours if you take the gondola on the descent.
If hiking for miles up mountains is not your thing and you prefer a more leisurely walk within the city, then one of the best trails in Nagoya is the Yamazaki Riverwalk. The river runs through the city, and it is lined on both sides by cherry blossoms. There is a paved pathway on each side of the river, so it is an easy walk for people of all ages. Bridges cross the river at various points, so you can choose to walk along one side of the river before crossing and returning on the other side.
Another excellent hiking trail within the city that is easy for people of all ages and abilities is Heiwa Park. According to Great Runs, Heiwa Park has a four-mile loop trail that runs around the park that is popular with walkers, cyclists, and runners. The woodland path is lined with cherry trees, and the terrain has some elevations as the park is set on a hill.
Shonai and Yada River Paths
The Shonai River and Yada River run parallel to each other in the city, and there are gravel paths lining both rivers, with some interconnecting sections. Between the two rivers, there is a total of just over eight miles of trails to explore. As with many of the urban trails in Nagoya, there are sections of the trails lined with cherry blossoms.
Tenpaku River Paths
The path along the Tenpaku river is 4.66 miles one-way, so you can enjoy a 9.32-mile urban hike if you walk the river path there and back. There are various points where you can join or leave the river trail, which runs alongside the east side of the river, so you can enjoy a shorter walk if you prefer.
Written by Dana Hanson
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