Famed as the most beautiful mountain in the northern Japanese Alps, 2926m tall Mount Yashuki deserves a top spot on every serious climber’s to-do list. The surface of the mountain is covered in granite, which appears to make it change color depending on which way the light is hitting it.
It’s little wonder that the mountain-worshipping ascetics of old regarded Yakushi-san as an important religious site, which is why you’ll find a small shrine to the resident deity at the top. Whether you go to pray for luck, or just to enjoy stunning views, it’s well worth the trek.
Don’t take this route lightly however! Even during the first section, from the trailhead to the first mountain hut, you’ll be in for a challenge, with a number of dips and climbs that will have your calves working overtime. Ropes and chains are built into the rock at the steepest sections, and you’ll be extremely glad for these.
As a true hiker’s mountain, you won’t be sharing the trail with many other tourists or casual climbers. Of course, that means you should be extra prepared for everything this thrilling climb will throw at you!