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Yama No Hi: Celebrating Mountain Day in Tokyo
A new holiday in Japan (officially observed for the first time in 2016), Mountain Day, or Yama no Hi, is very similar to Greenery Day in May or Marine Day in July. It is a day meant to celebrate and honor the many mountains of Japan, a country which is more than 70 percent covered by them!
Though Mountain Day itself falls on 11 August, which is a Sunday, because of Japan's rules on public holidays, it will be observed this year on Monday, 12 August. So, employees and students (though many are on break anyway) get to enjoy a three-day weekend!
Just as with Greenery Day or Marine Day, the point of Mountain Day is to take advantage of the day off and go out into nature. Luckily, rainy season has ended so you and your family can enjoy the outdoors! It is hot and humid though, so be sure to stay hydrated.
We've put together a few suggestions on how to celebrate Yama no Hi and hope you have a wonderful holiday!
One of the most obvious ways to celebrate the mountains of Japan? Climb one! There are several opportunities for hiking within a short train ride from Toyko, and many have routes suitable for various ages and experience levels. Bonus: the weather tends to be cooler outside of the city, and the higher you climb!
A relatively low elevation and an observation deck with views of Fujisan on a clear day make this a destination perfect for families with young children. An hour outside of central Tokyo by train, the trail is nine kilometers long.
A slightly more difficult one, but certainly worth the views! The 38-meter high waterfalls you'll find after about an hour's hike are a stunning example of nature's force - and beauty.
Fujisan is a big mountain, and despite the ease of the climb in relation to its height, this may not be one to try with young kids or unconditioned athletes! However, there are ways to enjoy Mt. Fuji with your family without having to reach the summit. Check out this article from The Tokyo Chapter for ideas!
Luckily, there are so many beautiful mountains around Tokyo you don't even need to take the family (or yourself) hiking to appreciate them - they can be seen from afar!
Two birds, one stone! Cool off in the flat, calm waters at Zushi Beach (or go windsurfing or paddle boarding!) while taking in a lovely view of Mt. Fuji in the background. The mountain is especially beautiful at sunset, when back lit.
Not only does the 25th floor of this building offer free views of Mt. Fuji, Mt. Tsukuba and Tokyo Skytree, it also hosts a pretty good restaurant, as well! It makes for the perfect Mountain Day destination within Tokyo.
Mt. Takao Beer Mount
With cable car access, you don't need to worry about hiking up to this high-altitude beer garden. You and the kids can enjoy an all-you-can-eat meal with views from 500 meters up.
As a bonus, Obon is also next week, usually observed from 13 August to 15 August. You can extend your Mountain Day holiday through the entire week!
However you choose to celebrate Yama no Hi, we hope you and your family take the opportunity to enjoy the unique beauty of Japan's landscape. And, as always, CareFinder is here to help! If you need a babysitter or just another set of hands over the long weekend, you can find the best one for your family here.