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From World-Class Volcanoes to Magnificent Mountains with Stunning Views! Top 7 Interesting Mountains in Japan

There are many mountains in Japan, and in this article, seven Japanese mountains with unique features will be showcased. The list below will include a wide range of handpicked mountains, such as the famous Mt. Fuji, a volcano that’s global in scale, a mountain with picturesque views, and Japan’s lowest mountain.

1. Mt. Fuji (Shizuoka/Yamanashi)

An iconic symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji is a stratovolcano that stretches across Shizuoka and Yamanashi. It is the highest peak in Japan, with an elevation of 3,776m. On a clear day, you can even see its silhouette from Tokyo! Having erupted and spewed lava several times, Mt. Fuji commands a dreadful and mysterious presence among Japanese people. It has also become a subject of worship as a mountain where deities dwell. There are also many artists who have drawn inspiration from this mountain’s mystique and beauty. It was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2013.

1. Mt. Fuji (Shizuoka/Yamanashi)

Aza-Fujisan, Narusawa-mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi

2. Mt. Ho-o (Yamanashi)

Mt. Ho-o – the general term for Mt. Kannon, Mt. Jizo, and Mt. Yakushi peaks – is located in the northern part of Yamanashi’s Southern Alps. With an elevation of 2,841m, it is also called Ho-o Sanzan. The main feature of this mountain is the Jizo-dake Obelisk – the granite that sits on top of the white surface of the mountain. The spine at the summit looks like it is reaching to the heavens, so it came to be called “Jizo-dake Obelisk”, based on the obelisks seen in ancient Egyptian temples.

2. Mt. Ho-o (Yamanashi)

Seitetsumachi Aoki, Nirasaki-shi, Yamanashi

3. Mt. Osore (Aomori)

Mt. Osore in Aomori is one of the three most sacred mountains in Japan. Here, you can see a landscape that will make you think of hell, with the smell of sulfur emanating from the spaces between the rocks. You can also go around Gokuraku-hama beach, which resembles the Land of Happiness. In Buddhism, the soul of the departed is believed to go to Shide no Yama (mountain of the dead). The soul then crosses the Sanzu no Kawa (Buddhist equivalent of Styx) on the 7th day after their death to get to the next world. This mountain has been attracting a lot of worshipers for being a place where you can catch a glimpse of scenery that looks like the afterlife, as well as a place where you can get close to the souls of the dead.

3. Mt. Osore (Aomori)

Usoriyama Tanabu, Mutsu-shi, Aomori

4. Mt. Aso (Kumamoto)

The world's largest double volcano with a massive caldera, Mt. Aso is comprised of the Aso Gogaku (five peaks that are made up of Mt. Taka, Mt. Neko, Mt. Naka, Mt. Eboshi, and Mt. Kishima) at the center, and the Gairinzan (outer rim of the crater) that measures 25km north to south, 18km east to west, and 128km in circumference. You can get close to the crater of Mt. Naka by walking, riding on the ropeway, or by car. There, you can feel the ground rumbling, and see the violent emission of smoke up close.

※ Entry into Mt. Naka’s crater is prohibited as of November 2017 due to eruption

4. Mt. Aso (Kumamoto)

808-20 Kurokawa, Aso-machi, Aso-gun, Kumamoto

5. Mt. Rishiri (Hokkaido)

Rishiri Island is the northernmost island in Hokkaido. Located at the center of this island and surrounded by the sea is the solitary peak of Mt. Rishiri, which rises 1,721m above sea level. It is characterized by its beautiful appearance that tightly squeezes the entire island into a single vertex. Also called Rishiri Fuji, it is a magnificent mountain that is included in the list of the top 100 famous Japanese mountains. There are no obstructions around it, so you get to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view from the summit. If you look from the Hokkaido mainland on the other side, this mountain would look like it is actually floating on the sea.

5. Mt. Rishiri (Hokkaido)

Kutsugata, Rishiricho, Rishiri-gun, Hokkaido

6. Mt. Tempo (Osaka)

Mt. Tempo in Osaka is famous as the lowest mountain in Japan, with an elevation of just 4.53m. It is buried in the ground, so its peak cannot be seen, but there is a triangulation marker installed right on top of this mountain. A small man-made hill that was built by piling up sand from the river that flowed right beside it, Mt. Tempo used to have a light that served as a marker for ships entering or leaving the port. At that time, it was still about 18m above sea level. It got to its current height due to the ground sinking around it.

This is the triangulation point at the top of the mountain.

6. Mt. Tempo (Osaka)

3-2 Chikko, Minato-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

7. Mt. Kaimon (Kagoshima)

Standing 924m above sea level, Mt. Kaimon is an active volcano that is found at the southernmost tip of Satsuma Peninsula in Kagoshima. It is a beautiful mountain that has come to be the symbol of the Ibusuki area, and it is characterized by its conical shape. This mountain is also called Satsuma Fuji (Satsuma is the former name of the western region of Kagoshima). There are no other mountains around, so you can capture a view of this wide area from south of Kagoshima. The vista from the summit is also stunning, as you can see the famous tourist spots of Kagoshima – from Sakurajima to Yakushima – all at once!

7. Mt. Kaimon (Kagoshima)

Kaimonjutcho, Ibusuki-shi, Kagoshima

The mountains on this list possess different features. Please try to visit them so you can personally see and feel their charms!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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