Top Ten Japan Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Hike the Northern Alps
By Brent Madison

Explore the "Roof of Japan"—take a summer climb in Japan's Northern Alps. Begin with a three-day trek from the Kamikochi area and hike along the spectacular ridges of the steep massifs that make up the Kita Alps, a collection of peaks with names like Hotaka-dake and Yariga-take. No doubt you'll make friends with like-minded Japanese climbers as you overnight in snug mountain lodges and share some of the most spectacular views in Japan—after all, on the "roof" views of Japan's luscious green valleys and sharply cut brown-blue mountains don't get any better.

Not enough? When you descend, spend a day exchanging tales at base camp in Kamikochi, castle-climbing in nearby Matsumoto City, or dipping into one of the area's many natural hot springs.

Best Hotels in Matsumoto


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