Japan's mountain system is largely undersea, rising from a great Pacific trench that descends to depths of 35,000 feet. Three quarters of Japan is mountainous, much of it volcanic, and several of its peaks top 10,000 feet. The mountains are still forming, and the island is enormously active as a result. Earthquakes are common, and occasionally catastrophic; Hot springs abound; and sixty of Japan's 500 volcanoes have at some point in historic times been active.
Japan's highest mountain is Fuji-san (12,389 ft./3,776 m.), an extinct volcano only 55 miles from Tokyo. Japan's other 10,000-foot peaks are all part of the Japanese Alps, a north-south ridge of granite peaks, 140 miles long and 60 miles wide. Many of the mountains are sacred to the Japanese, and thousands of Shinto and Buddhist pilgrims climb them each year, decorating the summits with sacred emblems.
The Alps are divided into three ranges, the Northern, Central and Southern Alps. Of these, the northern is most attractive, with its hot springs, lush plant life, and several active volcanoes. The northern range is easily accessible from Matsumoto and Omachi to the east. The Japanese Alpine Club maintains huts throughout the range. These mountains are generally much easier to climb than the European Alps, but many offer challenging climbs. These highest peak of the Japanese Alps is Kita Dake (10474 ft/ 3193m), located in the Southern range.
Peaks of Japanese Archipelago
Check out any of the following peaks for additional information:
- Akaishidake - 10236 ft./3120 m.
- Arakawadake (Warusawadake) - 10305 ft./3141 m.
- Asama Yama - 8425 ft./2568 m.
- Fuji-san - 12389 ft./3776 m.
- Goryu Dake - 9232 ft./2814 m.
- Happo One and Karamatsu Dake - 8845 ft./2696 m.
- Hotakadake - 10466 ft./3190 m.
- Houkendake - 9616 ft./2931 m.
- Houousan - 9318 ft./2840 m.
- Jiigatake - 8760 ft./2670 m.
- Jonen Dake - 9373 ft./2857 m.
- Kai-Komagatake - 9731 ft./2967 m.
- Kamikouchidake - 9196 ft./2803 m.
- Kashima Yarigatake - 9478 ft./2889 m.
- Kinpu-San - 8527 ft./2599 m.
- Kita Dake - 10474 ft./3192 m.
- Mizugaki Yama - 7316 ft./2230 m.
- Mount Madoriama - 3000 ft./914 m.
- Mt. Chogatake - 8740 ft./2664 m.
- Myogi San - 3622 ft./1104 m.
- Okuhotaka-dake - 10466 ft./3190 m.
- Ontake - 10051 ft./3063 m.
- Senjou Dake - 9951 ft./3033 m.
- Shiomi Dake - 10013 ft./3052 m.
- Shirouma Dake - 9619 ft./2932 m.
- Tateyama - 9892 ft./3015 m.
- Tsubakuro Dake (Mt. Tsubakuro) - 9065 ft./2763 m.
- Tsurugi Dake - 9835 ft./2998 m.
- Washiba Dake - 9593 ft./2924 m.
- Yarigadake - 10433 ft./3180 m.
- Yatsu ga Take - 9511 ft./2899 m.