Hiking in Tokyo: Takaosan (高尾山) - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hiking in Tokyo: Takaosan (高尾山)

The view of Tokyo from Mt. Takao
When you're getting tired of the metropolitan Tokyo lifestyle it is good to know that the wild nature awaits just a short train-ride outside the city. You can take the Keio-line (京王線) from Shinkuju Station (it costs 370 yen and takes about 1 hour), just remember to change trains in Takao as your final destination is Takaoguchi Station.
The beginning of the hiking trail, where you also can choose to ride a chairlift instead of walking.
Today Yuma and I took the train from Shinjuku heading for Mount Takao, where we had planned on spending the day. Takaosan is one of the most popular hiking destinations for people in Tokyo, both because it is close to the city but also because it is considered a sacred mountain.
A cute statue by the root of the mountain
With a number of different trails to choose from that includes sightseeing spots such as a waterfall, holy temples, a beer garden and a monkey park there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to spend a whole day despite the fact that the 599-meter summit can be reached in a relatively short time. For those who prefer not to walk that much there is also chairlifts that can make the trip easier.

We tried out a soba dish before the hike
If you want to try a local speciality before your visit to the mountain the local restaurants selling soba or dango could provide a good alternative. There are many restaurants by the root of the mountain where you can try a variety of soba, and you can find many small souvenir shops etc up in the mountain where they sell dango as well.
A statue by the road

Enjoying the hike in beautiful surroundings

A small shrine we passed by
There are many things to see as you walk through the forest on the way to Takaosan's summit, such as small shrines and statues. Once you reach the end station of the chairlift you'll again get the feeling that this is place really is aimed at tourists, as they sell a whole variety of food and lucky charms here and there.
A man selling dango
3 for 360! Oishikatta :)
The entrance to the monkey park
A statue right by the "octopus three", a three that looks like an octopus
Close to the top of Takaosan. 
Passing by a suspension bridge
People enjoying the view from the top
In our case we had brought with us Yuma's portable cooking stove, and just cooked a simple meal on the top of Mt. Takao. The rest of the day was spent on the mountain relaxing in the sun. Although you can reach the summit of Mt. Takao in just an hour or two there are still a lot to see, and you can choose to check out more trails if you want to spend longer time in the forest.
A shrine by a waterfall
Small Japanese gods dressed in red. Some of them look suspiciously similar to Santa Claus :P
Some of the trails are paved most of the way, and when the pavement ends there are still artificial stairs to make the trip go smoothly. Personally I prefer having more natural trails with roots and rocks in the road, and on the way back we found one route that fulfilled this criteria perfectly. All in all Mt. Takao was a short but nice hike which I would like to visit again sometimes. Perhaps next time we'll try out some of the longer hiking trails from the link below. It is definitely nice to get completely away from the busy lifestyle in Tokyo sometimes.

Related blogposts:
All blogposts from Tokyo
All blogposts about Hiking

Other Pages:
Takaosan Hiking Trails
Yako-in Yuki-ji Official Page
Wondering how to get to Takaosan from your nearest station? Check out your options from Hyperdia.

Sakura viewing at 
Mount Takao
Hiking in Chiba: Mt. Nokogiri
Hiking in Chiba: 
Mt. Nokogiri
Hiking in Kamikochi
Hiking in Kamikochi: 
Mt. Chōgatake 

Hotel Booking:

Book hotel in Japan
My hotel reviews

Do you have any questions or recommended travel destinations in Japan? Please feel free to leave me a comment in the comment section below!
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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