What would be the easiest mountain to summit (or even just hike around) in Japan or South Korea? I'm a beginner, with no extensive winter camping/summit experience. My most recent/difficult summit is a ~13000ft Mt. Banner (Mammoth Lakes, CA) summit in Summer, involving just 2 gently sloped snow fields, but also a completely unnecessary tortuous 15 minutes of Class 3/4 free climb to the top! (Should have brought gear or taken the Class 2 to the top!) Was wondering if there's maybe a Class 1-2, as I'll probably only bring with me microspikes (no crampons, ice axe). Thanks for anybody's experience with climbs in Korea and/or Japan!
Some suggestions in the Tokyo area would be Okutama (Kumotori being the highest peak in that area) range in the north-west or perhaps Mt. Takao. Both are relatively forgiving for beginners without extensive winter experience provided due diligence is done to route finding beforehand.
Probably late but generally anything less than 1500m is probably safe year-round, provided it's south-facing. Beyond that, it depends on the mountain. Kumotori could be dangerous without basic ice gear after the first snow of the year (at least crampons). I usually do all my winter climbing in Yamanashi prefecture, around Otsuki city. It's still beautiful and there are some good scrambles, but ice gear isn't needed on the mountains north of the main train line which face south. 1500m doesn't sound like much, but Japanese mountains are incredibly steep compared to other areas, so trails are already tricky to navigate even just after a rain when they get muddy.