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Japan Rock Climbing 

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Location: 36.7389, 139.13091 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Christian Storms, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Halle835 on Feb 8, 2008
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Japan climbing is better than you think! 

Known for it's culture and hardcore rock climbers, Japan is an amazing and beautiful country. Mount Fuji -- which my friends is a dead volcano -- is very well know but the rest of the Japanese Alps are a sight to be seen. The sheer amount of rock in Japan is staggering. The most popular areas in the country are generally over used, but there are more than enough areas to go around. There are also many, many areas yet to be made public that are being developed now, with many years of climbing in those areas alone. But hey, if you're a weekday climber like me, you've got the place to yourself most of the time.

Japan offers all types of volcanic rock and some granite. Routes from 1000 meter alpine lines to 12 meter 5.15's. The bouldering scene -- sure hope none of them want to really climb -- is most popular. In the Tokyo area there are over 20 bouldering spots. Many of these bouldering areas contain three to five boulders. This has to mainly do with the density of climbers in the Tokyo Prefecture.

The Japanese pride themselves as much in their politeness as they do in their comitment and determination to attaining a goal. There is a large population of climbers here that start climbing after retirement. Many of these climbers climb five days a week, only in an indoor gym and well into the 5.12+ range. Japan has around 200 climbing gyms as well.

Thanks to the Japanese Free-Climbers Association many of the popular climbing areas see new gear often. With this said there are many areas that are in desperate need of new gear.

A note on grades. There are two Japanese bouldering grade systems used. In the Toyota area the Toyota system is used. That system is an -a,b,c,d,e,f,g system with a being the easiest and increasing the difficulty with each letter. Everywhere else the kyu/dan (Ogawayama) system is used. Everywhere you go climbers know the V-scale and will gladly give you the sandbagged conversion. The Ogawayama system is a number system where the higher the number the easier. The numbers stop at 1 then 1-dan numbers start until 5-dan. Next is the Wheel of Life, most difficult grade. This system will be more familiar with those that have taken karate, since it is the same system used. I have to say that becoming accustom to this system takes time and is not straight forward at all. The main problem is that every single grade range includes two or three V-grades, IE 1 kyu, pronounced Q, is v5 to v6+.

As for rock climbing, the routes tend to be overly rated. A 5.10 in Japan is more than likely 5.10 in only one place. There is very little sandbagging here and the routes tend to be shorter. So come to Japan and immediately, jump up in rank.

Narita or Haneda?  

Tokyo has two international airports: Narita and Haneda. From either, you can rent a car and go or take train/bus transport to get literally anywhere. Or give me a call and I'll pick you up.

Climbing Season

Weather station 23.5 miles from here

207 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',21],['3 Stars',60],['2 Stars',66],['1 Star',40],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Japan

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Japan:
Ninja Gaeshi   V5+ 6C+     Boulder, 20'   Tokyo Prefecture : Mitake
Deadend   V5+ 6C+     Boulder, 12'   Tokyo Prefecture : Mitake
Kodomo Gaeshi   V6 7A     Boulder, 18'   Tokyo Prefecture : Mitake
Excursion   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 6 pitches   Shizuoka Prefecture : Joyama
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Japan

Featured Route For Japan
Rock Climbing Photo: A crowd in que at Capt. Ahab.

Cpt. Ahab V5 6C  Asia : Japan : ... : Moby Dick Area
Climb the seam using crimps to a large sloper. Move up and left on slopers to mantel finish....[more]   Browse More Classics in International

Photos of Japan Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ninja boulder, Mitake
BETA PHOTO: Ninja boulder, Mitake
Rock Climbing Photo: Large roof, Mizugaki.
Large roof, Mizugaki.
Rock Climbing Photo: My killer Organic Big pad.  48x60x5 inches of Japa...
My killer Organic Big pad. 48x60x5 inches of Japa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bear Paw Man, Jack Nakane
Bear Paw Man, Jack Nakane
Rock Climbing Photo: The 'Ninja Rejector' boulder, Mitake.
The 'Ninja Rejector' boulder, Mitake.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mizugaki
BETA PHOTO: Mizugaki
Rock Climbing Photo: Fuji-san's SW side as viewed from Mishima
Fuji-san's SW side as viewed from Mishima
Rock Climbing Photo: Steep Fantasy V4, climber Eddie G, FA Jack Nakane
Steep Fantasy V4, climber Eddie G, FA Jack Nakane
Rock Climbing Photo: Jerry Moffatt flashing Super Injim (5.12b), Japan....
Jerry Moffatt flashing Super Injim (5.12b), Japan....
Rock Climbing Photo: Mizugaki highball
BETA PHOTO: Mizugaki highball
Rock Climbing Photo: Me on unamed traverse, Mitake, Japan
Me on unamed traverse, Mitake, Japan
Rock Climbing Photo: Ninja boulder
Ninja boulder
Rock Climbing Photo: Star climbing on U boulder, Mitake.
Star climbing on U boulder, Mitake.
Rock Climbing Photo: Great chart from
BETA PHOTO: Great chart from
Rock Climbing Photo: Stephan Glowacz on the first ascent of Ninja (5.14...
Stephan Glowacz on the first ascent of Ninja (5.14...

Comments on Japan Add Comment
Show which comments
By laura rose
Aug 28, 2014
Hello - I'm a California climber, looking for any advice about climbing Mt. Fuji / acclimation / other interesting hikes. I'm looking to acclimate for a few days at 3000m - thanks for any advice!!
By Axel Nilsson
From: Lakewood, Co
Mar 3, 2015
Hey! Just wondering if anyone has any good beta on where the best "dirtbaggin" crags are in Japan? Trad, sport or bouldering, its all good!

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