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The Japanese Alps are a series of mountain ranges — the Hida, Kiso and Akaishi — which run along the spine of central Honshu. Thick pine forests, snow-tipped peaks and teal rivers are what you’ll find here — on an initial glance this might look like Switzerland. On closer inspection you’ll find tiered-roof castles and gassho-zukuri-style farmhouses with their traditional steeply slanted roofs. Our specialists can suggest the best way to explore the region, drawing on their experiences exploring first-hand.

Autumnal foliage in Kamikochi National ParkOnly two hours from Tokyo, this is a retreat to escape the heat of the city in summer, when you can tackle some of the hiking trails that lace the mountains around Kamikochi, or simply glide up on a cable car from Tateyama. In winter, you can take to the slopes and try some of the 2018 Winter Olympic ski routes or relax in a steaming onsen surrounded by snow. The hub for the region is the town of Matsumoto, with an old merchants’ district that’s now full of teahouses, craft shops and museums.

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Start planning your tailor-made trip to the Japanese Alps by contacting one of our Japan specialists

Places to visit in the Japanese Alps

Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting the Japanese Alps, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.

Suggested itinerary featuring the Japanese Alps

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in the Japanese Alps, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of the Japanese Alps

Places & hotels on the map

    Places in and around the Japanese Alps

    Our expert guides to exploring the Japanese Alps

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting the Japanese Alps, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate the Japanese Alps at its best.

    • Visiting Japan with your children
      Snow monkeys of Yudanaka

      Visiting Japan with your children

      Visiting Japan with your children

      A futuristic and vibrant country, Japan is a destination that appeals to family members of all ages. Safe, clean and with a good infrastructure, there are plenty of ways to explore. Japan specialist, Jake, talks us through how to get the most of your family vacation in Japan.

      7 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for the Japanese Alps

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit the Japanese Alps. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.