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Where is Mt. Takao?


Mt. Takao or Takaosan (高尾山) is located at Hachioji city in western Tokyo and the elevation is 599 meters (about 1965 feet). This popular mountain is very easy to access from central Tokyo. It also has Japan’s steepest cable car so you don’t need to climb if you’re just interested in the observation deck at half way up the mountain. Mt. Takao received 3 stars, the highest rank, from the Michelin Green Guide and is famous as the most-climbed mountain in the world that about 2.6 million people climb annually. Most popular season is autumn when autumn colors are breathtaking.

 

Hiking Trails


Official:https://www.takaotozan.co.jp/course/img/course_map_english.pdf

Mt. Takao has 8 hiking trails from easy trails to a bit hard ones.
As it has a cable car and chair lifts, many first time hikers try Mt. Takao!

①Trail 1- Omotesando Trail
The most popular 3.8km trail is mostly paved and includes major sightseeing spots. 

②Trail 2- Kasumidai Loop Trail
A 0.9km trail to enjoy short hiking. 

③Trail 3- Katsura Forest Trail
A 2.4km trail focuses on Katsura trees or Japanese Judas trees. 

④Trail 4- Suspension Bridge Trail
A 1.5km trail through Mt. Takao forests. 

⑤Trail 5- Summit Loop Trail
A 0.9km route at the top to relax and enjoy nature. 

⑥Trail 6- Biwa Waterfall Trail
A 3.3km trail focuses on beautiful forests and water. It it the longest trail. 

⑦Inariyama Trail
A 3.1km trail with forests and seasonal beauties.  

⑧Takao-Jimba Trail
A 15.3km trail from the summit of Mt. Takao to Mt. Jimba. 

 

Report


On one day in July, I went to Mt. Takao for hiking.
Started my journey from Shinjuku station and arrived at Takaosanguchi station at 10:00am.

Beautiful Takaosanguchi station is designed by Kengo Kuma, a famous Japanese architect.
A little convenience store is located at the station. Bought a raincoat just in case.
Walking about 5 minutes from the station, there is the platform of cable cars and chair lifts. I tried the Trail6 this time so passed by the plat form!
The beginning of Trail6! Rustic atmosphere welcomes you.
Found a little leech!
Greenery was so beautiful. Had a relaxing time in the forest.
Streams were also magnificent.

Close to the top, it suddenly started raining heavily. It was my great decision to buy a raincoat at the station!
Finally arrived at the summit at 12:00pm after hiking about 1.5 hours. It was my first time to hike yet it was not very hard. No problem for first timers.

One of the best moments for hiking is lunch! Had Soba noodles and Ramune soda (it tastes like Sprites). It was really good and refreshed me a lot!
View from the top was only clouds on this day. Mt. Fuji can be seen if the weather allows.
Started hiking down at 13:00. Tried the Trail1 which is mostly paved.

Yakuoin Temple with rain. It only took about 20 minutes walk from the summit. This majestic temple was founded in 744 by Gyoki Bosatsu.
This is Takasugi or the Octopus Shaped Cedar Tree along the Trail1- Omotesando Trail.
It is 37 meters high, said to be over 450 years old, and roots look like an octopus.

As it started rain a lot, I decided to get on the cable car. It took about 20 minutes walk to the platform from Yakuoin Temple and 40 minutes walk from the summit. It is Japan’s steepest cable car!

Arrived at the base at 14:00.
Went to Takaosan Onsen Gokurakuyu located right next to the station. It was heaven to take a bath after hiking in the rain.
Enjoyed Oyakodon (a bowl of rice with chicken and eggs) to end my day!

 

Summary


Had a lot of fun even the weather was awful. Mt. Takao in Tokyo is filled with beautiful nature, culture, and food. Mt. Takao attracts many people as it requires neither time nor any professional skills. It also takes only about an hour to access from central Tokyo. If you’re looking for forests in Tokyo, Mt. Takao is a must-visit! Most recommended season is fall to enjoy autumn leaves here.