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What is the best food for hiking in Japan?

10/08/2023 3:00 PM

Embark on Japan's scenic trails fueled by the ideal hiking foods. Discover nutritional choices tailored for the mountains, from local delicacies to energy-packed essentials. Stay energized on your Japanese adventure.
hiking in japan


As an avid hiker, I know firsthand the importance of fueling my body with the right food to keep me going on long treks. And when it comes to hiking in Japan, there is no shortage of delicious and unique options to choose from.

Japanese cuisine is famous for its emphasis on fresh, healthy ingredients and simple preparation methods. This makes it an excellent choice for hikers looking for energy-boosting meals and snacks that are also easy to carry on the trail.

In this article, I'll guide you through the best food options for hiking in Japan, from traditional dishes to quick and easy recipes. Whether you're planning a multi-day trek or a short day hike, you'll find plenty of ideas for nutritious and delicious food to keep you going.

Key Takeaways

Choosing the right food is essential for fueling your body during hikes.

Japanese cuisine offers a variety of unique and delicious options for hikers.

Proper nutrition is necessary for sustained energy on long hikes.

Meal prepping and packing easy-to-carry meals is important for hiking trips.

The Essential Guide to Hiking Nutrition

As someone who loves hiking, I know how important it is to fuel my body with the right nutrients. Whether you're embarking on a day-long trek or a multi-day expedition, proper nutrition is essential.

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for hikers, so it's important to pack foods that are rich in this nutrient. Good options include bread, rice, pasta, and fruits like bananas and apples. Protein is also crucial for repairing and building muscle tissue, so consider including foods such as tuna, chicken, beef jerky, and nuts in your pack.

Fats play an important role in providing sustained energy, so don't shy away from healthy sources like avocados, nuts, and seeds. It's also important to stay hydrated on the trail, so pack plenty of water and sports drinks.

Proper nutrition can make the difference between a great hike and a miserable one.

Remember, the key to successful hiking nutrition is to choose foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. By fueling your body with the right nutrients, you'll have the energy and endurance you need to tackle any trail in Japan.

Meal Prep Tips for Hiking Trips

Meal prepping for hiking trips is a crucial part of ensuring that I have enough energy for the adventure ahead. I like to plan my meals ahead of time and pack food that is easy to carry and consume on the trail. Here are some practical tips I follow when meal prepping for my hikes in Japan:

Pack lightweight and non-perishable snacks: Snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and energy bars are great options for quick bursts of energy on the trail. They are lightweight and won't take up too much space in my backpack.

Plan meals that can be easily prepared: I like to pack meals that are easy to prepare, like instant noodles or pre-cooked rice. These meals can be quickly heated up using a portable stove and don't require too much time or energy to prepare.

Consider the weather: Depending on the weather, I like to pack foods that will keep me warm or cool. For example, on colder days, I'll pack hot soup or tea to warm me up, while on hot days, I'll pack cold drinks and fruit to keep me cool and hydrated.

Don't forget the utensils: It's important to pack utensils like a spoon or chopsticks, as well as a portable stove and fuel. These items are necessary for preparing and consuming meals on the trail.

By following these meal prep tips, I can ensure that I have enough energy for my hiking trip in Japan and can enjoy delicious and nutritious meals along the way.

Traditional Japanese Hiking Food

hiking food in japan

If you're planning a hiking trip in Japan, you'll want to make sure you try some of the delicious traditional Japanese hiking foods that are popular among locals and visitors alike. These dishes are not only nutritious but also easy to pack in your backpack and enjoy on the trail.

Onigiri (Rice Balls)

Onigiri is a staple of Japanese cuisine and a popular hiking food. They are essentially rice balls filled with various ingredients like pickled plum, salmon, tuna, or chicken. These compact and easy-to-carry snacks can be found at convenience stores, supermarkets, and train station kiosks throughout Japan.

Miso Soup

Miso soup is a comforting and healthy dish made from fermented soybean paste. It's a particularly good option for colder weather hikes as it warms you up from the inside out. You can buy instant miso soup packets for easy preparation on the trail or make your own at home and pack it in a thermos.

Dried Fish

Dried fish, or "himono" in Japanese, is a popular source of protein among hikers in Japan. Fish like mackerel, Pacific saury, and bonito are dried and preserved, making them easy to carry and eat on the go. They can be found at grocery stores or specialty shops and are often seasoned with soy sauce or sake.

Tip: To make onigiri more interesting and flavorful, try mixing in some furikake seasoning, which is a type of Japanese seasoning made of dried fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, and salt.

Quick and Easy Hiking Recipes

When I'm on a hiking trip in Japan, I want to make sure that the food I bring with me is both delicious and filling. That's why I always pack some quick and easy hiking recipes that are sure to satisfy my hunger and give me the energy I need for the trail. Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Veggie Sushi Rolls

These sushi rolls are packed with vegetables and are easy to eat on the go. Simply roll up some cooked sushi rice, sliced veggies like cucumber and avocado, and some tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet) in a sheet of nori. Slice into bite-sized pieces and pack them in a container for your hike.

Soba Noodles with Sesame Dressing

Cook some soba noodles according to the package instructions and toss them with a simple sesame dressing made from sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, and rice vinegar. Top with some thinly sliced scallions and sesame seeds for extra flavor.

Matcha Energy Bars

These energy bars are perfect for a quick snack during your hike. Mix together some oats, almond butter, honey, and matcha powder, and press the mixture into a baking dish. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours, then cut into bars and pack for your trip.

Veggie Sushi Rolls

Soba Noodles with Sesame Dressing

Matcha Energy Bars

These recipes are not only delicious but also easy to prepare and pack for a hiking trip in Japan. They're sure to keep you fueled and energized for your adventure.

Local Delicacies for Hiking in Japan

local food for hiking in Japan

When it comes to hiking in Japan, the regional specialties are not to be missed. These local delicacies can be found along the hiking trails and provide a taste of the unique flavors of each area. Here are some of my favorite dishes to try:

Ramen in Hokkaido is a must-try for any hiker. The rich and savory broth paired with chewy noodles makes for the perfect comfort food after a long day of exploring the great outdoors.

In Kyoto, be sure to try yudofu, a dish made of soft tofu simmered in a flavorful broth. It's a great vegetarian option and perfect for a light yet satisfying meal on the trail.

For a heartier dish, okonomiyaki in Hiroshima is a must-try. This savory pancake is filled with cabbage, meats, and seafood, and topped with a variety of sauces and toppings.

Lastly, in Kagawa, udon noodles are the star of the show. These thick and chewy noodles are often eaten cold with a dipping sauce, making for a refreshing snack on a hot day.

Ramen in Hokkaido

Yudofu in Kyoto

Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima

Udon noodles in Kagawa

These dishes are just a few of the many delicious options available to hikers in Japan. Be sure to try the local specialties to get a true taste of the region, and fuel up for your next adventure on the trail.

Hydration and Refreshments on the Trail

Staying hydrated is essential for a successful and safe hiking trip in Japan. While water is the best option, it's not always easy to find clean water sources on the trail. That's why it's important to carry a water filter or purification tablets if you plan on refilling your water bottle from streams or rivers.

In addition to water, there are a variety of refreshing Japanese beverages that can provide energy and hydration on the trail. Green tea is a popular choice, as it contains antioxidants and caffeine to boost energy levels. Sports drinks like Pocari Sweat can also replenish electrolytes lost through sweating.

It's important to pack enough fluids for your hike, especially during the hot and humid summer months. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least one liter of water per hour of hiking. Be sure to also carry a reusable water bottle to minimize waste and protect the environment.

Best Places to Buy Hiking Food in Japan

If you're planning a hiking trip in Japan, you'll want to make sure you have the right fuel for your adventure. Here are some of the best places to buy hiking food in Japan:

Convenience Stores

Convenience stores are a great option for hikers, as they can be found in most parts of Japan and offer a wide variety of options. Look for onigiri, sandwiches, and energy bars, as well as drinks like sports drinks and tea.


Supermarkets are another good choice for hikers, as they offer a larger selection of food than convenience stores. Look for pre-packaged meals, fresh fruits and vegetables, and dried fruits and nuts. You'll also find a variety of drinks, including water, sports drinks, and tea.

Specialty Outdoor Stores

If you're looking for specialized hiking food and equipment, be sure to check out outdoor stores like Montbell and L-Breath. These stores offer a variety of dried and freeze-dried meals, snacks, and energy bars specifically designed for hikers. You'll also find a range of lightweight cookware and accessories.

Tip: If you're hiking in a remote area, be sure to stock up on food and water in advance, as there may not be many options available on the trail.

With these options in mind, you'll be well-prepared to fuel your hiking adventure in Japan. Don't forget to plan ahead and pack food that is easy to carry and consume on the trail.


After diving into the world of food for hiking in Japan, I'm convinced that choosing the right fuel can make or break a hiking experience. From traditional dishes like onigiri and miso soup to quick and easy recipes like vegetable sushi rolls and matcha energy bars, there's no shortage of delicious and nutritious options to enjoy on the trail.

Remember to focus on energy-boosting foods that provide sustained energy, including a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Preparing meals ahead of time and choosing snacks that are easy to carry and consume can also enhance your hiking experience.

And don't forget to stay hydrated with refreshing Japanese beverages like green tea and sports drinks, while also being mindful of carrying and purifying water on the trail. With a little planning and preparation, hikers in Japan can fuel their adventures with tasty and healthy options.


Q: What is the best food for hiking in Japan?

A: The best food for hiking in Japan is a combination of nutritious and energizing options that will fuel your adventure. Japanese cuisine offers a variety of unique and delicious choices that are perfect for hikers.

Q: What do I need to know about hiking nutrition?

A: Hiking nutrition is essential for sustaining energy during long hikes. It's important to consume foods that provide carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to keep you fueled.

Q: Any tips for meal prepping for hiking trips?

A: When it comes to meal prepping for hiking trips, it's important to plan and pack meals that are easy to carry and consume on the trail. Consider lightweight and non-perishable options that will provide the necessary sustenance.

Q: What are traditional Japanese hiking foods?

A: Traditional Japanese hiking foods include dishes like onigiri (rice balls), miso soup, and dried fish. These options are nutritious, easy to pack, and commonly enjoyed by hikers in Japan.

Q: Can you provide some quick and easy hiking recipes?

A: Absolutely! For quick and easy hiking recipes, consider options like vegetable sushi rolls, soba noodles with sesame dressing, and matcha energy bars. These recipes are tasty and convenient for your hiking adventures.

Q: What are some healthy hiking snacks?

A: Healthy hiking snacks include dried fruits, nuts, and trail mix. These snacks provide a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats to keep you energized during your hike.

Q: Are there any local delicacies I should try while hiking in Japan?

A: While hiking in Japan, you can explore regional specialties such as ramen in Hokkaido, okonomiyaki in Hiroshima, and udon noodles in Kagawa. These local delicacies can enhance your hiking experience.

Q: How important is hydration on the trail?

A: Staying hydrated is crucial during hikes. Opt for refreshing Japanese beverages like green tea and sports drinks to keep yourself hydrated. Don't forget to carry and purify water on the trail as well.

Q: Where can I buy hiking food in Japan?

A: You can find hiking food at popular convenience stores, supermarkets, and specialized outdoor stores in Japan. These places offer a wide range of options to cater to your hiking needs.

Q: Why is choosing the right food for hiking in Japan important?

A: Choosing the right food for hiking in Japan is important as it will provide you with the energy and nutrition needed to complete your journey. Plan your meals and snacks to enhance your hiking experience.