Mt. Takao or known locally as Takaosan is notably the most famous visited mountain trail during weekends in Kanto region. An ideal place for people looking for natural recreational activities within Tokyo. It offers beautiful sceneries like view of Mt. Fuji, interesting shrines, and challenging mountain trails for thrill seekers.
During my second month of living in Tokyo, my colleagues in the office extend an invite to hike Takaosan over the weekend. Immediately, I nod in agreement but kinda worried as I wasn’t doing any physical activity from past weeks aside from day walks to the office. But still, I give it a go.
It takes about more or less 50 minutes going to Takaosan from Shinjuku Station via Keio line. We arrived before mid day and as expected a big crowd are also heading towards Takaosan.
Trails in Mt. Takao
There are numerous trails to follow reaching Takaosan. The famous trail 1 is the most commonly used as it is paved and longest route to reach the peak. While other trails are narrower, less foot traffic and bit challenging. Since we’re all up for a challenge we took the trail number 6 which would get us to Takaosan by 70 minutes.
6th trail to Mt Takao turned out to be a good choice since there are few people following this route. The initial part of the trail is paved and easy to hike. Along the way, the trail gets narrower and narrower and it turns dirt and muddy. Also it gets slippery, so we take precaution every step of the way.
Mini Shrines and Lush Forest
There are mini shrines along the trail which some hikers took a quick stop. Most of them bow their heads and offered silent prayers before they continue the journey.
Half an hour past we reach the dense forest part of Takaosan. The towering old trees, lush vegetation and the deafening sound of the forest are remarkably captivating. Its for everyone to see and adore.
Stops and Resting Place
There is quite a number of resting place intended for quick stops along the 6th trail. The wooden benches are available for everyone to use while gasping some fresh air, cooling down with water or grabbing some snacks.
We reached the summit of Mt. Takao over an hour and a half. Personally, I was struggling during the final ascend. My knees are shaking and legs got stiffed. I didn’t prepare for this climb and I can only blame myself if incase something serious would happen. So far I survived this short ordeal and successfully scaled Takaosan.
The panoramic view from the summit of Mt. Takao is visually stunning. It was cloudy that day during our visit and can only see the mountain range close to its proximity. On a clear day, the majestic Mt. Fuji is visible from a distance.
There is a number of resting benches to take refuge for successful hikers. Some bring their own picnic mat and camp below the shades. Surprisingly there are vending machines, and shops selling snacks and refreshments at the top.
We go down via 1st trail and meet another excited hiker attempting to scale Takaosan. Along with our descent, we passed by to interesting shrines and chance to see a hydrangea bloom. It makes sense why people choose this trail aside from an easy route it also offers nice detours. We aptly decided to take cable car since its past lunch time and we clearly hear our stomach growling.
How to get to Mt. Takao
Take the train from Shinjuku Station using the Keio line which departs every 20 minutes. Alight at Takaosanguchi Station ( station located at the foot of Mt. Takao). Highly suggest using Rapid Express service which runs on the same line.
Travel time: More or less 50 minutes
Ticket cost: 390 yen (1 way)
Tip: You can save half of the time to reach the top by taking the cable car or chair lift. But it comes with additional cost of 480 yen (1 way)
How was your experience at Mt. Takao? Share it by commenting below.