Japan’s major cities offer just about everything, but did you know that includes great nature trails? From forests and waterfalls to ancient temples and shrines, many of Japan’s best hiking trails are literally just a step off the bullet train. If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you’ll find it even harder to resist these hikes near Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. Got a day–or even a half-day–to spare? You can still get your hike in!
These hiking routes make it convenient to explore Japan’s natural surroundings. No long drives to get out to the countryside, no great changes in altitude, and there’s always a good view waiting at the top. The trails are sign-posted, well-maintained, and many pass through historic districts and are tailored for sight-seeing by foot. You’ll find eating establishments, public toilets, lockers and even hot springs along the way on some of them. In short, Japan is a day-hikers dream! And if you like to run, these hiking courses make great running trails too.