Yama-no-hi, the unofficial celebration of Japan’s mountains, falls on Aug. 10

Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi

Yama-no-hi, the unofficial celebration of Japan’s mountains, falls on Aug. 10

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

For the people of Japan, mountains play a large part in the country’s culture, and climbing them is a treasured pastime.

Every year, an average of 9.7 million people climb the roughly 15,000 mountains the archipelago has to offer, according to a 2016 survey by the Japan Productivity Center.

So, it’s no surprise then that in 2014 the Japanese Alpine Club and other mountain-loving organizations would be successful in lobbying for a national holiday to celebrate the country’s peaks. Mountain Day, or Yama-no-hi, became an official holiday in 2014 and the National Holiday Act defines it as one to familiarize people with mountains and appreciate their blessings.

Though there is no official celebration for Yama-no-hi, it was strategically set to be observed Aug. 11, which is ahead of the Obon period, a holiday that serves as a remembrance of departed loved ones. This year, however, due to the scheduled Olympic Games, Mountain Day was to be observed on Aug. 10 to make it a three-day weekend for the country’s workers. Despite the postponement of the Games, the holiday will still be observed Aug. 10. Bear in mind that all city and other government offices will be closed that day.

But how is it celebrated? Many take this day to spend it out in nature, walking hiking trails, climbing mountains.

Due to COVID-19 fears, there may be less people out this year, but if you plan to head to any of the popular mountains like Mt. Mitake or Mt. Takao, it is important to maintain social distancing measures. Another Mountain Day favorite – climbing Mt. Fuji – will not be possible this year as the entire climbing season there was canceled in May.

Whether you celebrate it on Aug. 11 or on the observed Aug. 10 date, remember to appreciate your local mountain on the official day of all of Japan’s majestic summits. Happy Mountain Day!

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content