Mount Tsubakuro near Azumino, Nagano, Japan
© Joshua Hawley/Getty Image
Go hug a mountain, if you can. It's Mountain Day in Japan
It makes a mountain of sense for Japan to celebrate Mountain Day, which occurs each August 11. First celebrated in 2016, it's Japan's newest holiday. Nearly three-quarters of the country is made up of mountains, thanks to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire volcanic zone. Japan's four major islands—Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku—all have ranges running through them.
The 9,065-foot Mount Tsubakuro, which we feature in our home page image today, is a popular hiking destination on Honshu with well-maintained trails, rest areas, and lodges. Beautiful scenery abounds here, less than three hours' drive from Tokyo.
According to the legislation that established Mountain Day, the observance was launched to provide 'opportunities to get familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains.' One of those is snow-capped Mount Fuji, Japan's tallest mountain (12,389 feet) and one of the most pictured peaks in the world. Japan's rugged terrain is a boon for its tourist industry, with plenty of spots to ski and climb—or just relax in ancient hot springs.