Japanese Alps

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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 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).[citation needed]


Today, the Japanese Alps encompass the Hida Mountains (飛騨山脈), the Kiso Mountains (木曽山脈) and the Akaishi Mountains.[citation needed] 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.

Northern Alps[edit]

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.

Central Alps[edit]

The Central Alps, also known as the Kiso Mountains, lie in Nagano prefecture.

Southern Alps[edit]

The Southern Alps, also known as the Akaishi Mountains, span Nagano, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka prefectures.

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Coordinates: 36°00′N 137°00′E / 36.000°N 137.000°E / 36.000; 137.000