When someone says "Hey did you know that I hiked a mountain during the weekend?", people would praise him and tell him that he was amazing. However, in Japan hiking on mountains is a hobby and many think of it as the "norm". You would be surprised that there are plenty of people who hike mountains in Japan at least once a week. To top it off, even children accompany their parents on their hiking trip. Talk about a unique family bonding experience!

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There are a few mountains near Tokyo that people visit from time to time. We'll start of with the popular Mt. Takao, If you ever find yourself in Tokyo it would be a good idea to hike this mountain since it is the closest to the city. It's not difficult to climb this mountain (even kids can do it!) and it is the perfect first choice for beginner mountain hikers. There is also a cable car that you can use if you get lazy halfway. From the top of the mountain, you'll be able to see a great view of Tokyo so be sure to bring a camera as well.

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Keep in mind that you need to make adequate preparations when you hike mountains in Japan. First and foremost, you must be wearing proper gears that are suitable for climbing mountains (yeah, you need to get good shoes in order to travel the terrain). Secondly, since the hike may take a few hours, it would be best if you bring plenty of water and snacks like dried fruits, cheese, and nature bars. Although some people prefer to bring chocolate bars, others won't because it melts in warm pockets (Maybe it's ideal when going to a very cold mountain).

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I'm sure you're quite excited to embark on that mountain hiking journey, but wait there's a few things that you need to know before you start your climb. As you may already know, the Japanese love to climb their mountains. Because of this, there are plenty of transportation that will bring you as close to those mountain trails as possible. Also, there are also mountain huts for those who want to take a breather from their long climb or descent on the mountain. It would also be a great idea to bring a friend or an acquaintance who had experience on climbing the mountain that you want to climb. That way, you will be shown the favorable hiking trails that will make your climb a "little bit easier".

Hiking mountains not only give you a great exercise, but it also gives you a new perspective. Challenging new heights and standing on the peak of the mountain, while enjoying the scenic view that lies before your eyes gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Just imagine yourself reaching the peak just before sunrise. Seeing the world slowly being engulfed by the light of the sun and shaking the hands of your fellow climbers for a job well done. That would definitely be an awesome and memorable experience.

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While it's possible for you to challenge a mountain alone, going with your family, friends or acquaintances will make the hike more fun and the company will somehow make you feel more safe and secure. Of course, this is just my opinion. Whether you want to go alone or not is up to your discretion.

Well then, Join me again next time as we take a journey to find the most interesting things that is uniquely Japan!