As one of Japan’s most famous mountains, Mount Tanigawa is a major draw for hikers of all abilities. Its 1977 meter elevation means it offers some amazing views of the surrounding area, straddling the border between Gunma and Niigata. If you’d rather get the benefit of the views without the aching thighs, there’s also a lift which serves the mountain, the Tanigawadake Ropeway.
The biggest challenge the mountain offers is off-trail climbing, but this should only be attempted by truly experienced climbers — unfortunately over 800 climbers have tried and tragically failed in the past, so don’t take the warnings lightly! On the easier end of the scale, you can just follow the marked trails for a 5-hour climb to the summit.
In winter, you’ll want to take advantage of the fantastic powder snow which Mount Tanigawa gets. To do so, head up the ropeway to Tanigawadake Tenjindaira Ski Resort. It’s not the largest in the area, but it does have fantastic conditions which can see it remain open from November to May some years.