The underrated (foreign) tourist attraction of Tokyo: Mountain Takao
Skyscrapers, sushi, temples, and trains. What else comes to mind when you think about Tokyo? How about mountains?
Skyscrapers, sushi, temples, and trains. What else comes to mind when you think about Tokyo? How about mountains? Mountain Takao is just a short train ride from the central Tokyo (it still is in Tokyo.)
Hiking up Mount Takao
Back in April, I went hiking up Mount Takao. In Japan, there is hiking, but also yamanobori (山の登り), or hiking up mountains. Literally, it is mountain 山 climb 登り.
Mount Takao, is one of the most popular mountains to visit from Tokyo for a variety of reasons:
- It’s close to Tokyo (about 50 minutes from Shinjuku by train for about JPY 400 or about 4 dollars one-way)
- It’s a smaller mountain, at 599 meters, it’s only 3.1 km to the top with about 400 meters of elevation gain
- There is a cable car that goes almost to the top for those who cannot or do not want to climb the whole thing
Here comes the cable car!
Since Tokyo went into lockdown and my friends are EARLY risers (as in 4 am), we left quite early, around 5 am. There was hardly anyone on the train and we got to the bottom of the mountain around 7 am.
We took it nice and slow and took about an hour to reach the top.
At the top there were Olympic Rings in front of mountain Fuji. What a nice view.
This hike however, was a special one: it was one of my friend’s 100th time up Takao! Like any celebration we celebrated with a cake.
The nice thing about Mount Takao is that you can see the Tokyo skyline. In addition, there is also a large temple on the way to the top.
It was only 10:30 by the time we climbed down and reached the station to head back. Surprisingly, we were greeted by large crowds of people, even though we are in lockdown (but hey, I was there too).
There is also an onsen, (温泉) or hot spring at the bottom of the mountain. Relaxing in a hot bath is the perfect way to end a hike.
Mount Takao is a busy attraction. Despite this, I do recommend Mount Takao to those visitors who want a taste of mountain climbing in Japan, but don’t have time to travel to a farther mountain.
Mount Takao includes a view of mountain Fuji, Tokyo Skyline, a temple, and cable cars. What more could you ask for?
Japanese washlet toilet at the top, of course¥