Japan is located in the area where several plates collide each other. Therefore, there are many mountain ranges made by active orogeny. In addition, Japan is located on the Ring of Fire and there are more than 100 active volcanoes.
This page explain the topographic features of mountains by region.
There are many volcanoes in Hokkaido : Daisetsuzan volcanoes which has large lava plateau, Shiretoko volcanoes which is registered as World Heritage sites and has rich primeval forests, and Niseko volcanoes known as the world’s best quality ski resort. Many of these volcanic mountains are large and gentle mountains.
In the south part of Hokkaido Island, there is Hidaka mountain range which was made by orogeny. Difference from other mountains in Hokkaido, Hidaka mountains is steep.
Temperature in Hokkaido is low throughout the year. Therefore trees don’t grow in areas where the elevation is 1000 m or more. These areas are prairie or dwarf pine field.
North Part of Honshu
* Tohoku region
There are mountains height of 1000-2000 m in the north part of Honshu. In this area, O’u mountains goes from north to south. There are also several volcanoes on and around the O’u mountains. Because of heavy snow and low temperature, mountains where the elevation is 1500 m or more are grass-fields.
Central Part of Honshu
* Kanto, Koshin’etsu, Hokuriku, Tokai regions
Central part of Honshu is the most popular areas for mountaineers. This area has Mt.Fuji, the most highest mountain in Japan.
Also there are three 3 famous mountain ranges: Hida, Kiso and Akaishi. These mountain ranges are called “Japan Alps”. They have 3000 m class mountains including Mt. Kita, the 2nd highest mountain in Japan. You can see beautiful view of mountains with snow and rocks in Japan Alps. The elevation of the mountains is not so high in the world. However, due to the steep and severe climate, difficulty is never low.
In Central part of Honshu, there are many 1000-2000 m class mountains besides Japan Alps. These mountains are covered with hardwood trees such as beech and coniferous trees such as cedars.
Southwest Part of Honshu, Shikoku
* Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku regions
This area has 1000 m class mountains covered with rich forest. There are few volcanoes.
There are many mountains that have been the subject of mountain beliefs since the ancient times, including the Kii mountains, and you can also learn Japanese religion and culture.
Kyushu region has many volcano, so it was called “Hinokuni” (Japanese : Land of Fire) in the ancient time.
In this area, Mt. Aso which has the world’s largest caldera, and Sakurajima which frequently eruptions are famous.
Kyushu region has many islands. Yakushima island located on the south side of Kyushu is a popular spot for forest walking. At the foot of Mt. Miyanoura in the island, there are deep forests where huge cedar and plenty of moss grows.