One Hundred Mountains Cover Image

What is “One Hundred Mountains” in Japan?

Have you ever heard of “One Hundred Mountains”? Every hiker in Japan knows it, and most of senior hiker aims at completion of that One Hundred Mountains (Sometimes it is ridiculed as a stamp-rally because some of them are not interested in nothing but the summit and they don’t enjoy process of hiking).

Anyway, when you know about or plan to hike in Japan, it is a conservative idea to see One Hundred Mountains at first.

What is “One Hundred Mountains”?

One Hundred Mountains is come from book that is written by Kyuya Fukada (1901−1973) who was a famous for both as a novelist and a mountaineer. Although that book was written in 1964, the One Hundred Mountains has loved by a lot of hikers, by all generations.

panoramic view from yatsugatake

Major mountains in each Japanese Alps are chosen in One Hundred Mountains.

What kind of mountains are there in “One Hundred Mountains”?

According to the book, “One Hundred Mountains” selection criteria is the mountain that;

  • has dignity, history and unique characteristics.
  • are more than 1,500m above sea level in principle.

One Hundred Mountains are located all over Japan. However, most of them belong to eastern part of Japan. Since most of higher mountains are in eastern part of Japan.

Which prefecture has the most amount of One Hundred Mountains?


No.1 – Nagano prefecture – 30 (Main area: Northern/Central/Southern Japanese Alps)
No.2 – Yamanashi prefecture – 12 (Main area: Southern Japanese Alps)
No.3 – Gunma prefecture – 11

(Note: if a mountain that straddles multiple prefectures, it is counted as both of them.)

Nagano has the area border between Yamanashi and Gunma, so more than half of One Hundred Mountains gather around this area.

Below is my google my map that is listed all of One Hundred Mountains.

Pros / Cons

These are my subjective opinion regarding One Hundred Mountains.

Pros

  • Good scenery
  • Good condition trails
  • Easy access to the trailhead by public transportation
  • Shops and/or hut is opened in high season

Cons

  • Be crowded especially in high season
  • Almost tourist spot

Anyway, Almost all One Hundred Mountains that I have hiked are great, so I love to hike in One Hundred Mountains.

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