Your site is by far the best on the internet
(Handa, Aichi, Japan)
Hi Gary, I've just moved back to Japan after living here in '96-'98. Went back to South Carolina, USA for about the last 15 years, making return trips here about once or twice a year. Before leaving USA in late July, I did a lot of backpacking in the Blue Ridge mountains and have been researching Japan's mountains for hiking/backpacking, thus I ran across your site.
Great webpage by the way. I read it here and there when I can, it's a large site and will take some time to go through all of it. Also I will try buying my next set of books from Amazon via your site, always buying books from there anyway.
For someone like me, just arriving to Japan and looking into hiking Japan's mountains, your site is by far the best on the internet. Combining the descriptions of the hikes with photos are a great idea and really helps one determine which mountain ranges they would like to tackle first. For me, all of them! They are so beautiful and without your photos on your website, I may never have had the opportunity of seeing them.
My question is do you have any suggestions on how to get started hiking/backpacking in Japan for a new comer like myself? My wife and family are concrete and steel dwellers here in Handa, so getting into mountains will be a solo endeavor, I'm sure. Do you know of any hiking/backpacking groups I can meet up with or join to get started? I am living in Handa, Aichi now indefinitely.
I will continue to use your site as a reference. I have bought the Lonely Planet's "Hiking in Japan" book (from Amazon) before leaving for here in July. I'll likely just take a train to the nearest station to the Southern Alps region here and just go for it!
I'll keep in touch and let you know how I'm doing once I make my first hike.