Mountain Day

Mountain Day - Sunday, August 11, 2024

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Ain’t no mountain high enough to keep people from celebrating Mountain Day in Japan. The day is a natural fit because of Japan’s hilly and mountainous terrain. This fairly new holiday which takes place annually on August 11, reminds us to see mountains as natural sanctuaries of peace. Mountain Day encourages everyone, especially those who are boxed into the flatlands of dense, urban centers; to use the day exploring nature and taking in wondrous views while breathing deeply of fresh, mountain air. Pondering the blessings that mountains offer is reflective of Shintoism, the dominant religious practice in Japan.



Towering, majestic, and beautiful. Mountains are some of the most beautiful of nature’s structures, stolid and regal they stand against the sky, of such a size that they can catch entire countryside’s in their shadow, and turn back the ravages of storms against their unflinching sides.

Learn about Mountain Day

A mountain is basically a huge landform that rises above the land that surrounds it in a limit area, typically forming in a peak at the top. Mountains are generally deemed to be steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed by volcanism or tectonic forces. The force can raise the earth’s surface locally. Glaciers, weather conditions, and rivers can slowly erode the mountains. There are a few mountains that have isolated summits. However, most tend to be part of big mountain ranges. 

Mountain Day has been created so that we can embrace the wonder and magic of the mountains around us. There are some truly spectacular mountains all around the world. You may have even had the pleasure of climbing one or several of them. Some of the most famous mountains include the likes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Fuji, and Mount Everest. On this date, we appreciate all of the world’s mountains. It is also a good day to take some time to reflect on those who have lost their lives while attempting to do dangerous mountain climbs and to pay tribute to them. 

Mountains are the source of recreation and resource, with snow-covered sides providing ski slopes to enthusiasts, and minerals in abundance to those brave enough to delve into their stony sides.

In certain areas of the world, they are also a source of unique agriculture, providing ample space for the production of those products that grow best on their slopes. Coffee, Cocoa, Herbs, Spices, and the form of handicrafts that spring from the minds of those who live in the unchanging protection of these towering edifices to geology. 

Mountain Day is your opportunity to head out and appreciate these unique landforms, and all they have to offer. There are a number of reasons why Mountain Day is loved by people all over the world. This includes the fact that mountains are scarce in some areas of the world, which makes them precious to a lot of people. In fact, you can spend hours reading up about different folk tales and legends about different mountains around the world. This is certainly one of the most fascinating and interesting ways to learn more about the world on Mountain Day. Plus, Mountain Day gives you the perfect excuse to climb that mountain that you may have always wanted to climb!

History of Mountain Day

Established in December of 2003, the United Nations General Assembly created this day to help bring awareness to all of the things we rely on mountains for.

Whether it’s all of the glories mentioned above, or how necessary they are for the health and well-being of the flora and fauna that call them their home, Mountain Day promotes them all.

How to celebrate Mountain Day

Mountain Day can be celebrated in a cavalcade of fun and educational ways. Head out to your local mountain to discover all the things it has to offer. Whether it’s a day in the numerous parks and hidden places that can be found in their craggy terrain, or amazing tourist towns like Leavenworth, WA, get on out there and explore.

Hiking enthusiasts will find the many trails and secret places a joy, as well as being able to enjoy the far flung places that so few ever visit. Due to the challenges of developing them, there is almost always an opportunity to enjoy nature in all its glory.

Even better, once you’ve hiked your way into the far reaches of untouched wilderness, you can settle down to camp away from the light pollution and noise of city life.

Or maybe you prefer to drive, the twisting winding roads that navigate the mountainsides have some of the most beautiful country that can be found, near or far. Snugged down between the rising cliff-face and the sheer drop into the valley, the view is simply unmatched, and such a thing can be refreshing to the human soul. Mountain Day is a call to get out into the wild and see what it has to offer!

You could also take your mountain bike out on this day, rather than going for a climb or a hike. After all, there are lots of different ways that you can enjoy the spectacular sites of the mountains in your area. Taking your bike and exploring them is one way to go about it! However, do make sure you prioritize safety. Always wear a helmet and it is a good idea to give your bike a check over beforehand as well. This is especially the case if you have not used it for quite some time now. 

You can also use Mountain Day to go camping. A weekend camping in the mountains is an incredible experience. Depending on whether your an outdoor person or not, you may want to go for the full camping experience or you may want to choose somewhere that has some facilities on offer. The choice is yours. There is nothing quite like looking at the mountains around you and the stars in the sky. It is an incredible experience, and definitely one of the best ways to spend Mountain Day. So, grab your other half or your bestie and enjoy a great camping weekend. 

Mountain Day timeline


Japan's government announces a plan to add Mountain Day as a public holiday

"Yama no Hi" known as Mountain Day in Japanese, is officially announced — bringing the total number of public holidays in Japan to 16.


The first official Mountain Day

Mountain Day, a holiday promoting love for Japan's mountains, takes place after persistent campaigns by various mountain-related groups.


The public will gather during a new ceremony for Mountain Day in the Japanese Alps

Since Mountain Day was only initiated in 2014, there has traditionally been no official ceremonies marking the day. That's about to change — with the first National Ceremony for Mountain Day set to take place in the Japanese Alps.

3 Reasons Why Japan's Mt. Fuji Captures Our Imagination

  1. It's more than a mountain — it's a volcano

    In fact, Mt. Fuji consists of three active, separate volcanoes: Komitake at the base, Kofuji dominating the middle and Fuji at its peak.

  2. It was off limits to women climbers until 1868

    Due to Mt. Fuji's religious significance, women were banned from climbing the mountain until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Later, Lady Fanny Parkes became the first western woman to get to the summit the following year.

  3. It's surrounded by lakes

    There are five lakes surrounding Mt. Fuji at approximately 1,000 feet above sea level with wondrous views of this iconic, Japanese symbol.

Mountain Day Activities

  1. Take a spin on your mountain bike

    Whenever we think of mountains, we only seem to consider hiking or climbing them. But there's another scenic way to take in the splendors of mountain vistas — mountain biking. Just make sure to get your bike checked out thoroughly before you head out and don't forget your helmet!

  2. Go camping

    Sure, it's important to get your exercise when you visit mountainous areas. But if you're not the most in-shape person around, consider just packing up some gear and camp out near the base of a mountain. You get the same benefit of refreshing mountain air and beautiful, starry nights without the wear and tear on your body. Once you settle in, collect your bestie and take a nice, long walk.

  3. Walk, hike and climb

    For those who consider themselves die-hards, there's nothing better than gearing up for a daylong walk, hike or climb up a mountain. Bring your camera because you don't want to miss a thing but be careful and don't get too close to the edge. If you're lucky enough to get all the way to the summit, sit and bask in the stillness and the vision of peace from on high.

Why We Love Mountain Day

  1. Mountain lovers fought for it

    Various mountain groups pushed hard for an official day to cast work aside and head to the mountains for fun and exercise. Additionally, the Japanese government saw the holiday as a boost to the economy — a win-win all around. With its rocky terrain, Japan promotes Mountain Day on August 11 as a natural fit for groups seeking the serenity of the region's various mountains. Mountain Day devotees also believe that the written numerical characters for 11 resemble either a mountain top or two trees.

  2. It's an excuse to climb Mt. Fuji

    Mt. Fuji is Japan's most famous mountain and Mountain Day is sandwiched in between Mt. Fuji's climbing season, from the beginning of July until the beginning of September. That's an ideal time for the approximately 300,000 annual hikers and mountain climbers to pay homage. At that time, there's no trace of snow on the trails and the weather is balmy.

  3. Japanese mountains are sacred spaces

    Japan has three holy mountains — Mt. Tate, Mt. Haku and of course, Mt. Fuji. This mountain was first climbed by a monk in 663 A.D. Mountains have long been places of meditation and worship by Shintoists since the seventh century.

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