The Japanese Alps (日本アルプス Nihon Arupusu) is a series of mountain ranges in Japan which bisect the main island of Honshū (本州). The name was coined by English archaeologist William Gowland, and later popularized by Reverend Walter Weston (1861–1940), an English missionary for whom a memorial plaque is located at Kamikochi (上高地), a tourist destination known for its alpine climate. When Gowland coined the phrase, however, he was only referring to the Hida Mountains (飛騨山脈).
From the front, South, Central, North Alps
|Elevation||3,193 m (10,476 ft)|
|Length||200 km (120 mi)|
|Width||40 km (25 mi)|
|Location||Niigata Prefecture, Toyama Prefecture, Yamanashi Prefecture, Nagano Prefecture, Gifu Prefecture, Shizuoka Prefecture|
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Today, the Japanese Alps encompass the Hida Mountains (飛騨山脈), the Kiso Mountains (木曽山脈) and the Akaishi Mountains (赤石山脈). These towering ranges include several peaks exceeding 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in height, the tallest after Mount Fuji. The highest are Mount Hotaka at 3,190 m (10,466 ft) in north area and Mount Kita at 3,193 m (10,476 ft) in south area. Mount Ontake is well known as an active volcano, having erupted most recently in 2014.
The Northern Alps, also known as the Hida Mountains, stretch through Nagano, Toyama and Gifu prefectures. A small portion of the mountains also reach into Niigata Prefecture. It includes the mountains Mount Ontake, Mount Norikura, Mount Yake, Kasumizawadake (霞沢岳), Mount Hotakadake, Mount Yari, Mount Jōnen, Washibadake (鷲羽岳), Suishodake (水晶岳), Nakedake (餓鬼岳), Mount Tate, Kashima Yarigatake (鹿島槍ヶ岳), Goryū dake (五竜岳), Mount Shirouma.
The Central Alps, also known as the Kiso Mountains, are located in the Nagano prefecture. It includes the mountains Mount Ena, Anpaiji mountain (安平路山), Mount Kusumoyama (越百山), Mount Minamikoma, Mount Utsugi, Mount Hōken, Mount Kisokoma, Kyogatake (経ヶ岳).
The Southern Alps, also known as the Akaishi Mountains, span Nagano, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka prefectures. It includes the mountains Mount Hōō, Mount Nōtori, Mount Aino, Mount Kita, Mount Kaikoma, Mount Senjō, Mount Nokogiri (Akaishi).
- Geographical Survey Institute map 25000:1 仙丈ヶ岳 accessed online 8 April 2008.
- Weston, Walter (1896). Mountaineering and Exploration in the Japanese Alps. London: John Murray.