Japan marks its first 'Mountain Day' in 2016

Elaine Yu, CNNPublished 11th August 2016
(CNN) — Japan's newest public holiday is finally here -- and it's all about celebrating the country's ancient natural beauties.
"Mountain Day" was first introduced to parliament in 2014 following lobbying from the Japanese Alpine Club and other Alp-related groups.
The bill passed and it was officially added to the calendar, set to be observed every August 11 starting in 2016.
The holiday is targeted at overworked Japanese with the aim of pulling them from their dreary, air-conditioned cubicles for a day.
Those planning to take advantage of the new holiday and explore Japan's mountainous scenery have no shortage of options.
Many of the nation's mountains are easily accessible.
For some lucky residents, stunning mountain ranges form the backdrop of their cities and towns.
For the rest of us who aren't enjoying a day off in Japan on Thursday, this gallery below of some of the country's prettiest peaks will have to do.
Mount Hotaka, part of Japan's Northern Alps -- or Hida Mountains -- overlooks the Azusa River, which flows through the highland valley of Kamikochi. More of Japan's most beautiful mountainous landscapes ahead.
JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images
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