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​What Is The Hyakumeizan?


In 1964, a Japanese writer and mountaineer by the name of Kyuya Fukada, published a book entitled 日本百名山 - Nihon Hyakumeizan - 100 Mountains of Japan. The book was intended to be a collection of essays about 100 mountains that Fukada regarded as significant in regards to Japan's history and its mountaineering culture, the list was also based on his personal favourites with Fukada stating "In the end, the one hundred mountains represent my personal choice and I make no claims beyond that."

Although it initially won a literary prize in 1968, the book was not well known outside of mountaineering communities until the crown prince mentioned it as one of his favourite books, expressing a desire to hike all 100 mountains. This coincided in the early 1980's with the development of better infrastructure, improved hiking gear, and more mountain huts, which turned hiking into a popular activity. All these elements lead to Fukada's book becoming famous, and creating a subculture of people seeking out the mountains on his list.

But what were his choices based on?

Possibly the most debated and controversial part about the Hyakumeizan is the criteria and method he used to choose the mountains. His selection is often confusing and contradictory, for example, one of his stated criteria is for the mountain to be over 1500m, but there are mountains on the list which are below this height, such as Mt. Kaimon which is 924m. The other 3 criteria he talked about were history, grace, and individuality - with the latter two being very subjective.


It's common for people who have hiked in Japan to also point out mountains that don't deserve the attention - that don't deserve being on the list. One example is Ainodake, which a neighbouring peak of Kitadake. Kitadake is the 2nd highest mountain in Japan, and once you reach Kitadake, an extra 4 hours of hiking across the ridgline will get you to the peak of Ainodake. But some people say it's not worth it, pointing out the superior terrain and views found on the Kitadake trail. Another common complaint, which Fukada couldn't have predicted, was the overdevelopment of some mountains. For example Tsukuba, Odaigahara and Kirigamine - they're so developed that you can drive right to the peak. Although, others point out that this isn't a bad thing, it's nice that some Hyakumeizan can be accessible for everyone.

In the end, Fukada never set out to create a list of the best mountains in Japan, and was quite clear about stating this. So, many of these critiques about the Hyakumeizan, and the reason the list has become famous, are somewhat misunderstood. Goals and achievements can make activities more interesting and meaningful. With the history of the Hyakumeizan and it's alluring connection to Japan's mountaineering culture, it's understandable why it becomes a priority for hikers living in Japan. Personally, although the Hyakumeizan is tempting, I choose my hikes based on 3 criteria: does the terrain look fun, are the views and environment interesting, and is access to the trailhead worth it.

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An English version of the book is available on Amazon

Complete list of the Hyakumeizan


1.  Mt. Rishiri

2.  Mt. Rausu

3.  Mt. Shari

4.  Mt. Meakan

5.  Mt. Asahi

6.  Mt. Tomuraushi

7.  Mt. Tokachi

8.  Mt. Poroshiri

9.  Mt. Yōtei


10.  Mt. Iwaki

11.  Mt. Hakkoda

12.  Mt. Hachimantai

13.  Mt. Iwate

14.  Mt. Hayachine

15.  Mt. Chokai

16.  Mt. Gassan

17.  Mt. Asahi

18.  Mt. Zao

19.  Mt. Iide

20.  Mt. Azuma

21.​  Mt. Adatara

22.  Mt. Bandai

23.  Mt. Aizu-koma

24.  Mt. Nasu


The Hyakumeizan printed on Japanese Noren


25.  Mt. Echigo-koma

26.  Mt. Hira

27.  Mt. Makihata

28.  Mt. Hiuchi

29.  Mt. Shibutsu

30.  Mt. Tanigawa

31.  Mt. Amakazari

32.  Mt. Naeba

33.  Mt. Myoko

34.  Mt. Hiuchi

35.  Mt. Takazuma


36.  Mt. Nantai

37.  Mt. Nikko-shirane

38.  Mt. Sukai

39.  Mt. Hotaka

40.  Mt. Akagi

41.  Mt. Kusatsu-Shirane

42.  Mt. Azumaya

43.  Mt. Asama

44.  Mt. Tsukuba

 Kita Alps 

45.  Mt. Shirouma

46.  Mt. Goryu

47.  Mt. Kashimayari

48.  Mt. Tsurugi

49.  Mt. Tate

50.  Mt. Yakushi

51.  Mt. Kurobegoro

52.  Mt. Suisho

53.  Mt. Washiba

54.  Mt. Yari

55.  Mt. Hotaka

56.  Mt. Jonen

57.  Mt. Kasa

58.  Mt. Yake

59.  Mt. Norikura

60.  Mt. Ontake


61.  Utsukushi-ga-hara

62.  Mt. Kirigamine

63.  Mt. Tateshina

64.  Yatsu-ga-take


65.  Mt. Ryokami

66.  Mt. Kumotori

67.  Mt. Kobushi

68.  Mt. Kinpu

69.  Mt. Mizugaki

70.  Mt. Daibosatsu

 Fuji Area 

71.  Mt. Tanzawa

72.  Mt. Fuji

73.  Mt. Amagi

 Chou Alps 

74.  Mt. Kiso-koma

75.  Mt. Utsugi

76.  Mt. Ena


87.  Hakusan

88.  Mt. Arashima


89.  Mt. Ibuki

90.  Mt. Odaigahara

91.  Mt. Omine

92.  Mt. Daisen

 Minami Alps 

77.  Mt. Kai-koma

78.  Mt. Senjo

79.  Mt. Houou

80.  Mt. Kita

81.  Mt. Aino

82.  Mt. Shiomi

83.  Mt. Warusawa

84.  Mt. Akaishi

85.  Mt. Hijiri

86.  Mt. Tekari


93.  Mt. Tsurugi

94.  Mt. Ishizuchi


95.  Mt. Kuju

96.  Mt. Sobo

97.  Mt. Aso

98.  Mt. Kirishima

99.  Mt. Kaimon

100. Mt. Miyanoura


The trail heading up Mt. Hotaka in Kamikochi

Complete Map of the Hyakumeizan

Here is a complete list of the Hyakumeizan on google maps, including links for more information and the Hike Master hiking pages. If you would like to view this in Google Maps, click here.

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