In 2001, Lonely Planet published its seminal guidebook “Hiking in Japan,” a collection of more than 70 hikes spanning the length of the country from Okinawa’s Iriomote Island to Mount Rishiri in the far north. The book, now out of print, showcases some of Japan’s most beautiful hikes, but it is very much for the committed, people who are prepared for long, multiday excursions and sleepless overnight bus journeys to take on remote peaks.
Lonely Planet’s new book, “Best Day Walks Japan: Easy Escapes into Nature,” takes a more relaxed approach. Like its predecessor, it covers routes across the country (though sadly Okinawa is omitted), with 60 walks and accompanying maps. The hikes are united by their length, most of which are no more than a day — Mount Fuji and the 1,400-kilometer Shikoku Pilgrimage are notable exceptions — but otherwise offer fantastic variety: There are day hikes, cave walks, boardwalk strolls and even a few routes that are child-friendly.
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