Mountain Day – August 11, 2023

Mountain Day Introduction, When Is Mountain Day 2023, History Of Mountain Day, Traditions Of Day, Mountain Day Activities, 3 Reasons Why Japan’s MT. Fuji Captures Our Imagination, Why We Love Mountain Day, Upcoming Dates.

There is no mountain too high to hinder the joyful celebration of Mountain Day in Japan. This special occasion perfectly aligns with Japan’s picturesque and mountainous landscapes. Annually observed on August 11, this relatively new holiday serves as a gentle reminder to cherish mountains as natural havens of tranquility. Mountain Day inspires people from all walks of life, especially those confined to bustling urban areas, to embrace nature’s beauty and relish breathtaking views while breathing in the rejuvenating mountain air. This contemplation of mountains’ blessings echoes the essence of Shintoism, Japan’s predominant religious belief.


Mountain Day, a celebration of Japan’s captivating landscapes adorned with volcanoes, hot springs, and mountains, will be observed on August 11, 2023. It is a day dedicated to cherishing and commemorating the country’s stunning natural wonders.


Mountain Day

The history of Mountain Day in Japan showcases the country’s unique blend of urbanization and deep-rooted connection to nature. Despite remarkable technological advancements and densely planned cities, the Japanese people maintain a strong affinity for their natural surroundings, setting them apart from many other developed nations.

While Japanese culture predominantly evolved on flat coastal lands, the nation’s diverse landscapes encompass much more, including majestic mountains, inviting hikers, trekkers, and nature enthusiasts. Among them, the Japanese Alpine Club and other activist groups advocated for the establishment of a dedicated day to celebrate the country’s mountainous geography.

In 2014, the vision for Mountain Day, known as ‘Yama-no-Hi,’ took shape, and in 2016, it officially became Japan’s newest public holiday. The date chosen for its observance was August 11, chosen for a symbolic reason: in the Kanji characters used for writing Japanese, the number eight resembles a mountain, while the number eleven resembles two trees.

The inaugural celebration of Mountain Day was marked by simplicity, lacking many traditional activities or ceremonies. The ceremony itself commenced amidst the captivating Japanese Alps at Kamikochi in Matsumoto, Nagano, embracing the essence of the day’s significance.

It’s worth noting that while Mountain Day is typically celebrated on August 11, if this date falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on the following Monday, allowing ample time for people to savor the natural beauty and wonders of Japan’s mountains without constraints.


Due to its recent establishment, Mountain Day in Japan is still in the early stages of developing distinct traditions. The first-ever National Ceremony for Mountain Day was held amid the stunning Japanese Alps at Kamikochi in Matsumoto, Nagano, adding a touch of significance to the holiday’s inception.

As the observance gains momentum, some individuals may still be unfamiliar with the occasion. However, a growing number of people are embracing the spirit of the day by engaging in various activities, with hiking emerging as a favored pursuit. Notably, senior citizens show particular fondness for hill-walking during this time.

Another prevalent tradition that has taken root is the trend of planning mountain trips as a peaceful retreat from the fast-paced urban life. Many seek solace and rejuvenation in the serene ambiance of the mountains, offering a refreshing escape from the bustling cities.

Although the traditions associated with Mountain Day are currently evolving, the holiday’s allure lies in its call for people to reconnect with nature and celebrate the breathtaking landscapes that Japan’s mountains graciously offer.


Engage in a thrilling mountain bike ride When picturing mountains, hiking and climbing often come to mind, but there’s another exhilarating way to soak in the stunning vistas — mountain biking. Before embarking on your adventure, ensure your bike is thoroughly checked, and remember to wear your helmet for safety.

Experience the joy of camping If you prefer a more relaxed approach, consider camping near the mountain’s base. This allows you to savor the refreshing mountain air and gaze at the mesmerizing starry nights without putting excessive strain on your body. Invite your best friend to join you and take leisurely walks to explore the surroundings.

Embark on a rewarding walk, hike, or climb For the dedicated enthusiasts, nothing compares to a day-long walk, hike, or climb up the mountain. Capture the breathtaking views with your camera, but exercise caution and avoid getting too close to the edge. Upon reaching the summit, bask in the tranquility and marvel at the serene beauty from above.


  1. A Volcanic Wonder: Mt. Fuji transcends the typical mountain experience by being more than just a majestic peak. Comprising three active volcanoes—Komitake at the base, Kofuji dominating the middle, and Fuji at its summit—it captivates our imagination with its geological complexity and the awe-inspiring power of nature.
  2. Historical Barriers: Adding to its allure is the fact that until 1868, Mt. Fuji was off-limits to women climbers due to its religious significance. The lifting of this ban during the Meiji Restoration opened new possibilities for female adventurers. Notably, in the following year, Lady Fanny Parkes became the first Western woman to conquer the summit, adding a trailblazing chapter to the mountain’s history.
  3. Enchanting Surroundings: Mt. Fuji’s allure extends beyond its soaring heights, as it is embraced by five lakes situated at approximately 1,000 feet above sea level. These tranquil bodies of water offer wondrous vistas and serve as a picturesque backdrop, enhancing the symbolism and allure of this iconic Japanese landmark.


The love for Mountain Day stems from several compelling reasons:

  1. Fought for by Mountain Advocates: Mountain lovers and various mountain groups ardently campaigned for an official day that would allow people to set aside their work and venture into the mountains for leisure and exercise. Recognizing the potential economic boost, the Japanese government embraced the idea, creating a win-win situation for all. Japan’s rocky terrain makes August 11 a natural choice for celebrating Mountain Day, appealing to those seeking serenity amidst the diverse mountain landscapes. The symbolic connection between the numerical characters for 11 and either a mountaintop or two trees further reinforces the significance of the day.
  2. Opportunity to Climb Mt. Fuji: Mt. Fuji, Japan’s most renowned mountain, enjoys the spotlight during Mountain Day as it falls within the peak of its climbing season, from July to early September. For approximately 300,000 hikers and mountain climbers annually, this is an ideal time to pay homage to the iconic peak. The absence of snow on the trails and pleasant weather during this period enhances the experience of ascending the majestic mountain.
  3. Sacredness of Japanese Mountains: Japan holds great reverence for its mountains, and three of them, Mt. Tate, Mt. Haku, and especially Mt. Fuji, are regarded as sacred spaces. The history of spiritual significance dates back to 663 A.D. when a monk first climbed Mt. Fuji. Since the seventh century, mountains have been revered as places of meditation and worship by Shintoists, underscoring their profound cultural and religious importance.


Here are the upcoming Mountain Day dates:

  • 2023: August 11 (Friday)
  • 2024: August 11 (Sunday)
  • 2025: August 11 (Monday)
  • 2026: August 11 (Tuesday)
  • 2027: August 11 (Wednesday)

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