Mountain Day is the most recent addition to a long list of Japanese national holidays. It was first announced in 2014 and first celebrated in 2016. It occurs every 11 August and is meant to honour the mountainous terrain and ecosystems of Japan’s islands and the ancient cultural traditions that are connected with that geography.
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Although Mountain Day itself is rather new, it was long sought after by The Japanese Alpine Club and other hiking and skiing enthusiast groups. With so many ways to enjoy the local mountains, along with the religious significance of the many mountain-based shrines, it seemed only appropriate that Japan should have a “Mountain Day”.
Why 11 August? One reason is that August is the eighth month of the year, and the number eight looks like “mountain” in kanji characters. Eleven looks like two trees, and Japans’ mountains are largely forested. Also, many localities already had a mountain day on 11 August, and there weren’t any national holidays in August as of yet.
Mountain Day is the perfect day to go hiking or trekking in Japan’s scenic mountain landscape.